You want to speak your mind. You want to feel confident. To be our most powerful selves, we all know it's vital that we be authentic. So why's it so hard?
Being authentic isn't easy for anyone. Period. Even when others make it look like a cakewalk.
No matter how amazing you are, there will always be some lingering insecurities and self-doubt near the surface. And finding your own authenticity is a much deeper dive.
Here are 3 reasons being authentic is harder than you think:
#1: You Weren't Raised To Be Your Full Self
Do you find yourself saying "I'm sorry" too much? Are you the first to excuse yourself when someone bumps into you? Have trouble saying no?
As kids we're taught to have good manners. After all, who want's to be surrounded by people with bad attitudes smacking food loudly.
Etiquette makes our culture is tolerable. But when manners are consistently prioritized above our own personal wants, it also erodes our confidence ability to make decisions.
To different degrees we're trained out of being ourselves in favor of being polite.
#2: Authenticity Isn't Being Practiced
On our journey to success, we don't often factor in authenticity. It's a part of the formula that we gloss over believing we already have it mastered.
We practice gratitude. We cultivate habits, but few people could even tell you how to practice authenticity.
Most of our lives are lived on autopilot. Many of us shrink from making decisions for fear of failure. Conscious decision-making according to our own values is a luxury.
#3: You're Too Hard On Yourself
There's a difference between being holding yourself to a high standard and criticizing yourself. Many of us are quick to internally bash ourselves over our mistakes and slow to compliment our own progress.
When we spend too much time criticizing ourselves we start to believe that we're wrong time and time again. This makes it all too easy for us to latch on to values, strategies and goals that aren't ours.
Our subconscious reasons that if we're mostly wrong, maybe the right way is a way that is different from our own.
#4: Distractions Have Taken Over
Being present is key to being authentic. Being fully you in the present moment is the only way to truly wield your power.
Yet life is busy. It's easy to get caught up in your thoughts. Regrets of the past and worries about the future can overrun you if you let them.
When we're distracted by the past, the future, or even games and television, we relegate ourselves to the role of spectator. There's no room for individuality when you're spectating.
#5: Authenticity Can Feel Self-Centered
Some people fear that authenticity will make them appear self-important. As if having a unique perspective and individual preferences makes us somehow selfish.
The truth is that you being fully you is what can make this world great. This world needs all types of thinking to contrast against others and out of that contrast arises truth.
If we all think the same way, believe the same things, and are on the same path, there would be no innovation. No creativity. No zest for living.
Being authentically you is one of the most important ways we contribute to the world.