Being authentic and true

authenticity, orlando, heart mural, positivity, life, inspiration, Maybe it’s because I’m a Scorpio, but it’s impossible for me to hide my emotions.

Whether I’m stressed, or excited, or upset, I do a pretty bad job of hiding it. If I’m feeling a negative emotion, I get anxious, I stop talking and I can’t make good eye contact. You can read my poker face, because I don’t have one. It’s just not in me.

I’ve often been hard on myself for this, and it’s also caused me guilt. I’m hypersensitive, so if I even detect a slight shift in mood in somebody else, I immediately think it’s my fault or they’re upset with me. Nine times out of ten, they’re probably just having a bad day. So, that’s where the guilt comes in for me, because I know I’m sure I’ve done that to other people with my inability to mask my feelings.

Now, sometimes it is with a person I’m upset with. I really don’t get mad at people often, but I just can’t fake like everything’s fine if I have an issue with somebody. I’ll be civil, but I’m not going to go over the top and try to make it seem like everything’s OK. I don’t fake smile, and honestly, I don’t like when other people do. Let’s be real about our feelings, guys! Being fake just makes people not trust you…but that’s a topic for another day.

Really where I’m going with this is authenticity. Concealing emotions to either spare someone’s feelings to just try to convince yourself you’re fine are more outward forms of what I’m talking about. But what I really want to get to is being authentic, meaning your true self.

Like most people, I’ve pretended to like stuff so people would like me, mainly in high school and college. I once ate sushi with a group of new friends so I wouldn’t look disagreeable (I HATE sushi). I’ve sat in a coworker’s car listening to country music, assuring them I was totally good with country (again, not my cup of tea). And (this is infamous in my house), I pretended to like the film The Minority Report when I was just months into dating my now-husband (never again will I watch that thing – I think I fell asleep). These are super minor things that honestly aren’t worth raising a fuss over, except sushi. Never eat food you don’t like. I put my foot down there.

As I’ve grown up a bit (and let’s be real, I have a lot more to do), I’ve realized there’s a power in being honest about what you like, what your values are and who you are. I’m still figuring all those out, but I definitely have a better idea now. And you know what else I learned? The more true to yourself you are, the happier you’ll be. You’ll attract people who are like-minded and radiate that same energy, and in turn, make meaningful friendships and relationships. You’ll feel more fulfilled and purposeful.

In the past, I’ve wanted to appear a certain way to people and would put my needs to the side. So I said “sure!” and “yes!” a lot, even when it was difficult or uncomfortable or just plain un-fun for me. Now, I say no to things I don’t want to do, or don’t make sense to me. I say no to things that aren’t fun or meaningful to me. Do I get anxious at the very thought of it? I say no.

Does that seem negative? Well, no. Not to me. Because when I say no to things that don’t make sense for me, or require me to drain all my energy that could be spent on something more productive and healthy,  I’m saying yes to myself. I’m embracing who I am, what I want and what I was meant to do.

I’m being authentic. And I’ll say yes to that every single day.

What about you? What have you learned about being honest and authentic? Let me know in the comments. I love this stuff.

Thank you always,

Elizabeth