“To be true to yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” All of us must have come across people posing questions like-“You aren’t the same anymore, you have changed, is it because of your new friends?”, “The other day you were criticising the people who smoke but look at you today, you are smoking and drinking, aren’t you aware of the hypocrisy you are portraying? ” Being true to ourselves, what meaning does it actually carry? Is it a concept of still abiding by what you said years ago to someone, or is it a concept that teaches us to be rigid to any changes just so that you apparently stay true to yourself and keep your authenticity intact? To satisfy our inquisitive minds, let’s figure this out.
It is a common exhortation: BE AUTHENTIC. Stating in layman terms, authenticity simply means embracing who you really are, at your very core, and acting in accordance with the same. In other words, authenticity is a subjective judgment of how closely one’s actions and words are congruent with one’s values and beliefs. It is being ourselves, and not an imitation of what we think we should be or have been told we should be.
One would question: “If authenticity is all about sticking to your values throughout, but alongside we are also taught the concept of adaptability to the new situations, will this approach not lead to a kind of rigidity in terms of one’s constant quest for new information?” Well, considering the pace of change today in terms of constant updates in all sorts of information, it is completely natural for such a question to arise. But as an answer to this, what one must understand is that, throughout our childhood, all of us have been gathering messages and thoughts that in a way became a part of our belief system, and left unchallenged, we can walk around thinking that these beliefs are that of our own, and a part of finding our authentic self is sorting through these beliefs to filter out the ones that truly emerge from within us, and make sure that these beliefs come from a mature, healthy, grounded place within us and aren’t just remnants from our childhood, coming from an insecure place.
Taking the time to reflect on what is important to us, what resonates, is a step we all must take, and by exposing ourselves to new and emerging ideas and the different ways of being, we can discover what resonates within us. Being authentic is more than just being real. It is rather finding out what is real. Living authentically is not living stagnant. Rather it is constantly learning about ourselves, challenging our old beliefs, and sorting our baggage of thoughts. It is learning to face fears and doubts and to find out what makes our heart sing, our spirits soar. It is finding where our authentic self feels most alive, free and unburdened and having the courage to live from this place.