We all have the natural desire to look good to other people. We want others to see us as intelligent, attractive, fun, successful, confident and, well, I could go on. It's in our DNA; how others think of us is tied to our survival. In the past, if you weren't looked at favorably you could be ousted from the protection of the group and forced to find your own way.
But survival or not, the fear of looking bad to others is a huge hindrance when it comes to finding love. We have authenticity detectors and bullshit meters that tell us when someone is being less than genuine. We might not consciously recognize that someone is being unauthentic with us but let's get real, we all have the sense that something is off and not quite right.
More from YourTango: Lonely Isn't A Four Letter Word
When you challenge yourself and take the risk of being you and sharing your authentic self, you'll actually end up looking good. There will be a "genuineness" about you that is attractive and welcoming.
Showing up as your authentic self also gives you confidence. Confidence is one of the key traits we look for in a mate and is acquired through taking courageous action. One more reason to get real.
We can actually make mistakes and look bad sometimes! It's the only way we grow and learn. No one wants to be with someone who's perfect -- or who tries to be. It's really not fun. It's a tremendous relief to be with a person who is real and to be real yourself.
Being authentic means you also have to be humble. When you're not perfect you sometimes have to apologize for your bad behavior. Some of us have a hard time admitting we're wrong and that in itself is a lack of authenticity.
I've said this before because I've lived it; you can't have a great love and be a coward. You can't pretend to be who you're not and feel intimacy and closeness with a man.
More from YourTango: Beware: An Internet Dating Horror Story
This holiday season let's get real and give ourselves the gift of being who we are without apology or shame. To cultivate a sense of humor about our flaws and to laugh at the silliness of some of the things we do. Let's become fascinated by the experience of being ourselves, free of wanting the approval of others.
Let's get real and give ourselves the gift of self-acceptance and self-love -- knowing that we won't just rest on who we are, but that we'll always strive to be better and to do better when we can.