Our answer to this question is important. It helps define our peace, confidence, happiness, success, and more. When I was a young adult, I aspired to be, think and act more like others in my family. I believed that was what I was supposed to do. Trying to be someone else is like trying to wear a size 7 shoe when your foot is a size 9. It’s a struggle, and it’s never going to fit. I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “you have some pretty big shoes to fill.” Whatever the situation, we cannot, nor should we try to, fill anyone else’s shoes in any life situation. Just as there are plenty of shoes in our own size, each of us has our own talents, goals, and possibilities to develop and live out.
Living authentically means we are walking in no one’s shadow. We are not trying or pretending to be anyone except who we are. Authenticity builds confidence. We trust ourselves to make our best choices, and we respect ourselves for doing so. It’s what helps us to not say “yes” when in our hearts we mean “no”. We express ourselves honestly, even in difficult conversations and are able to do so respectfully. Our goal is to be true to ourselves, not to be hurtful to another.
Authenticity allows us to be who we truly are and to appreciate our uniqueness. Trying to be someone or something we are not is an exercise in defeat. And, here is a fun aspect of living an authentic life; the discovery process lasts a lifetime! When we are truly who we are meant to be, we won’t require validation from others, and we certainly won’t accept judgement. Life is richer, fuller, and more abundant when we live it authentically.
I will wrap up with a quote from Oscar Wilde. “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”