Be True To Yourself: The Power & Importance Of Authenticity

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two women and one man lying on the floor with confetti

How important is it to be true to yourself?

People tell me that I think differently than most other people. For example, with rain, I notice that most people have a particular reaction to it.

Some get annoyed, some want to dance in it, some are grateful, some become worried, and some want to stay home and play "house."

However, people’s reaction to the rain isn’t what's fascinating — the fact that the rain doesn’t stop for any reason other than completing its job is the fascinating part.

The rain doesn’t care about your situation, feelings, opinions, desires, plans, or anything else about you or me. It just rains. It has a job to do and it does it well.

Here’s where I think differently than most others: Human beings are designed to operate exactly the same as the rain does.

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When you're truly authentic, all you can be is yourself. 

Think about it. Babies don’t care about anyone’s feelings when they want something. They just cry and scream and yet we love them to pieces.

You could say they can’t talk, so that’s all they can do. You would be correct, but you'd be missing the point.

Look at toddlers. They love you, hug you, kiss you, and all that stuff. However, the minute they want something, they let you know about it and they don’t care how you feel or what you're doing. You need to get it for them — now!

Adolescents pretty much do what they want, too, just not quite as much. Why? Because they’ve been "domesticated" by parents, teachers, religious folk, and pretty much all grown-ups to follow instructions, do as they’re told, etc.

They begin to take on the characteristics of grown-ups.

Interestingly, while I was in the middle of writing this, I came across a quote from an anonymous teen who once described adults this way: "They shouldn’t be called 'grown-ups.' They should be called ‘given-ups’!"

There's a pattern here.

Occasionally, we meet people who could care less what we think of them.

They just live their life. Many of us admire them. Some of us don’t like them very much. Some don’t notice either way.

What’s fascinating about people who don’t care whether you like them or not is that, generally, most people actually do like them.

They’re just doing what they’re doing — just like the rain.

In other words, the best way to have people like you is to not care whether people like you or not. It’s counterintuitive but true.

Here are 3 reasons why authenticity and remaining true to yourself are important.

1. No one knows what’s best for you better than you do.

Even your parents, teachers, or coaches don’t know what’s best for you, really. You can get their help in identifying what that may be but that job is ultimately yours alone to decide, declare, and live.

Succumbing to what others want you to do robs you of your power, robs the world of your greatest contributions, and unless stopped, will be the biggest regret of your life.

By "being the rain," you cause others to have to deal with and make adjustments to you, rather than the other way around.

People will respect and admire you for being true to yourself. When you live your truth as authentically, kindly, and straightforwardly as you possibly can, everyone benefits.

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2. If you like yourself, you won’t need the approval of others.

And you won’t seek it, either, because you approve of yourself. Others won’t feel manipulated into having to like you or else you’ll break down and cry.

People don’t realize how much pressure they put on others to like them. Those on the receiving end of that pressure feel trapped, like they have no choice. They end up resenting us for it.

Also, we don’t realize how much pressure we put on ourselves to have others like us. We end up resenting ourselves because we’ll do things that aren’t something we really want to do.

We end up sacrificing our own sense of integrity and sell out our values to be liked. That doesn’t work.

3. No one can like or love you more than you like or love yourself.

Put another way, you won’t let them like you or love you more than you like or love yourself.

If they do, then you basically will be calling them a liar because you'll be thinking, "If they really knew me, they wouldn’t like me," or something like this.

You don’t want to be wrong about how "right" you are about how messed up you are, so you end up making them wrong instead.

This leaves them with only four options:

They agree with you and leave because they want to be with a better partner than you.

They agree with you and stay because they want to beat up on someone like you.

They disagree with you and leave disappointed because they see you as greater than you see yourself and they can’t bear to watch you hurt yourself anymore.

They disagree with you and leave after continuously feeling invalidated by you because you won’t let them make a difference with you or they care more about your happiness than you do.

Ultimately, no one can do for you what you won’t do for yourself.

Self-esteem and self-love are inside jobs.

Whenever I’m faced with tough choices, I listen to my heart and then look to the sky as I think about the rain. I do this because I want to identify my truth and then live it.

If you’re nervous or don’t know if some of your thoughts or ideas will work, trust your heart.

If you sell yourself out, everyone loses, especially you.

So, "rain" your blessings down upon us. Some of us may not like getting wet but all of us like drinking water.

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Tony Vear is a relationship coach, specializing in personal development and business coaching. He strives to leave people better than he finds them by making relationships as simple as driving. Visit the Relationship Mastery Group to sign up for Happily Ever After or any of our other courses.