Often we read, hear and listen about the “being yourself” thing.
There are many books, even songs and it’s totally cool. But… what does it really mean? I’ve been thinking a lot about “being myself”, and I was wondering how can I be me and who is me?
As everybody (I guess) there are many different versions of “myself”.
I’m myself with my parents, with my closest friends, with my husband, with my volley team, probably with my co-workers… what else?
Nevertheless, each of them can describe me as a different person. And guess what? they all are right.
A while ago talking with one of my closest friends, she said a word, a wonderful word that I haven’t considered before then: Authentic. Be Authentic.
Of course, I know what “authentic” means, but I found myself searching it on the vocabulary, and finding it’s meaning:
Adjective: “of undisputed origin and not a copy: genuine”
I like that. It’s like watching inside yourself and see who is your first you. It’s like digging inside you and see how your “first layer” look like.
Your original layer.
Actually, I would say it’s a little bit more complicated than that… but let’s start thinking about it.
Think about this: we all have an original layer. Then we have experiences and relationships that add more layers or change the previous ones. Or both.
After a while, you stop your automatic pilot and say: “Is that me? why am I reacting in this way? why am I thinking in that way instead of in a different way?”
In every action, you can actually see a person you know or a past moment of your life.
“I’m behaving as my mom/dad, as my friends used to, as my family expect me to, as my co-worker or boss-like”.. and also: “I’m behaving in that way since I had this bad experience, since I had this amazing encounter, since I read this book…”
So, if you are recognizing that you are behaving like someone used to/expect from you or since when… hold this awareness for a second. Freeze this awareness, make space in your mind, be quiet, kind and think: “What the best version of me would do?”, “What would the person I want to become do?”
Your authentic self will give you an answer. A very honest answer. No one can hear you, no one can criticize you in your mind, so don’t worry, be honest and stay there. With your honest thoughts, your truth, your authentic you.
Enjoy this moment.
After that, there is a choice. What would you choose? You can choose what people are expecting, you can choose what your authentic you is telling you, or you can find a compromise…
I guess that from that moment onwards, it doesn’t matter what you are doing. It could happen that sometimes we need to do what people are expecting, but here’s the thing: as long as you are aware of what your authentic you is saying, it’s ok.
This would be your compromise. This would have a different result in your life. Since you KNOW how your authentic you would act, somehow you can align yourself to your acting. You think that it’s the same. It’s not.
The intention would be different; and the intention matters.
Your authentic you is saying “don’t do that”.
Your family expects you to do that.
If you are choosing to compromise for family’s sake, that’s ok. But you know that you are doing this for them, not for you. You will accept it and embrace it for what is it.
You are not doing it like you think you want to do it.
And then: you are many things. you can choose to show you different little tiny parts of your “authentic” you to different people: your family will see one tiny part of your authentic you, your coworkers will see one other tiny part.. and so on.
This not manipulating, this is not faking: this is acknowledging what the person in front of you can accept or even benefit from your authentic tiny part of you.
The key is to be aware of what is the intention behind your actions.