Why is it so difficult to be authentic?

Why is it so difficult to be truly yourself, genuine and authentic?

More importantly, why is it hard for you to be tangible?
This isn’t an accusation or a judgment, it’s an extremely important question. If I can ask myself and answer this question honestly, without assessing, I’m well on my way to becoming more of whom I really am and ultimately more genuine.

For me, being truthful, real, and authentic in a vulnerable way is what I aspire to be in my entire life, maybe lifetimes, all the time. However, this is also something I find quite difficult and demanding to do in the day-by-day, moment-by-moment facets of my life, my work, and my relationships.
I’m often more interested (at least on the surface) in being appreciated, influencing people, and wanting to look good than I am in being real. I worry that if I speak my existence, go for what I want, and let it all hang out – people won’t like me, I will upset or disgust them, or I won’t be able to get what I want.

Can you compare to this in your own life?

Many of us, myself encompassed, get quite confused, in a self-righteous way, when we see, hear about, or encounter other people being dishonest, fake, or simply withholding the truth. However, how often do we do that ourselves? We can be quite hypocritical when it comes to realism – expecting it from others all the time, but not doing, saying, and being true ourselves.

This doesn’t make us “bad” or “wrong,” it simply makes us human. Authenticity is challenging for almost everyone I know, talk to, and work with. The more we can get in touch with our anxiety with being authentic, the more able and willing we’ll be to move past whatever stops us from being real. But first, we have to notice our difficulty or antagonism to authenticity, with compassion and love, and tell the truth about it.

Many circumstances play roles into this – family upbringing, cultural discipline, long-held principles about what’s “appropriate,” and our fears. When it comes to being authentic, the bottom line for most of us is that we’re scared. We don’t want to deal with what we imagine being the consequences of genuineness – people’s judgments or reactions, our guilt and shame, possible disappointment or rejection, and more – so we just shut up and try to fit in.

Closing up and trying to fit in, as we all know from experience, doesn’t work, feel good, or lead us to anything meaningful or fulfilling in life. Doing this leads to bitterness, frustration, and a lack of power in our lives, but is often easier for us to do than it is to confront our fear, speak our truth, and be fully authentic.
Getting in touch with what makes genuineness hard for us can give us access to a genuine place of truth within us and is the first step in becoming more tangible.

Here are a few issues for you to think about and answer with integrity, sovereignty and compassion:

1. What specific stories have you received throughout your life about being authentic and being yourself, that stop you from reflecting yourself completely?

2. What are the main impediments that get in your way of being true?

3. What are some of the hugest concerns you have about being entirely yourself, speaking your truth, and going for what you want in the existence?

Permit yourself to relax with these questions, contemplate them, and see what appears out of this inquiry. Address to yourself about this with empathy and openness. Engaging in this research can and will open up some new ideas, insights, and odds for you. Have fun with it and be kind to yourself in the process!


Peter Po

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