“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me that is the true essence of beauty”. Steve Maraboli
Have you ever been mesmerised by a woman who portrayed such confidence in her own skin, she may not be the easy breezy cover-girl you see in magazines but she definitely has a magnetic charm about her and you find yourself hypnotised in her presence. That’s called authenticity. People are innately attracted to authenticity because people crave that for themselves!! Authenticity is defined as; undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine. To be authentic means you have to be vulnerable. Vulnerability does not mean being weak or submissive. To the contrary, it suggests the courage to be yourself. It involves uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. And that’s why it might seem scary. Although we may try to run from vulnerability, it is an inevitable part of all our relationships especially the relationship with ourselves.
I used to strive for perfection, nowadays, when I think of perfectionism, I think of its consequent personality traits; arrogance, conceit, smugness, self-importance, egotism, vanity, immodesty, superiority… I know to some people that will sound extreme and perfectionism may sound like a good thing, but it’s entirely different from the more realistic pursuit of improving, learning, and further evolving ourselves, it is also far less destructive (and exhausting) than trying to pull off looking perfect, knowing everything, and never making mistakes! When we continue to chase after that flawless reflection or performance, or try to keep the perfect house, marriage, or when we make excessive demands on others…it takes its toll on our authenticity and ability to connect with others—not to mention our physical and mental well-being. Yet, in a culture that constantly mirrors our imperfections and weaknesses, and makes perfection seem advantageous, it’s easy to get sucked into an airbrushed version of reality.
Perfectionism is merely an illusion anyway, the people who are authentic will see right through you and the people who don’t, will bore you senseless in their own attempt to fit in.
I remember those days when I believed I had to prove to the world that I was worth being here. I craved affirmation and external praise, don’t get me wrong, validation is a normal need amongst humans but validation needs to come from within first and foremost… When we place our ok-ness in the hands of other people, that’s when happiness and confidence can elude us.
When we take responsibility for how we choose to show up in the world, our perceptions can then be moulded with love. When we perceive the world through loving eyes as opposed to fearful eyes, our whole reality changes. You no longer spend time worrying about what people will think of you, you easily jump into action instead of procrastinating, your relationships are centred around love instead of need.
Proving that you are worthy, perfect, or well put together can be a tiresome act, one that takes a lot of energy and time, trust me, I performed the act for the first 2/3rds of my life. Let me tell you the longer you hold onto that charade, the bigger your pride and ego becomes thus making it harder to let go of.
When we allow ourselves to be authentic we are saying to the world – this is me and all my different shades of grey, I forgive and accept myself for all the mistakes I have made and I trust that other people will too. We do not have to be defined by what we have done in the past, we can choose to let those things go and move forward with grace and enchantment. I know it can be a really scary thing to actually be real with the people around you, there’s probably a lot of hidden fears around that… ‘what if people don’t like me’ …. But I say, “what if they do?”….. ‘What If I lose friends for being the real me” … and I say “they aren’t meant to be in your life if they’ve left”.
If I can do this, then I KNOW you can too…..I had the pride of the oldest lion in Africa and had the huge ego to go with it – it was a huge life decision for me to decide to be ME in ALL areas of my life and not just the safe areas I chose. But the rewards are so worth it, I am no longer on daily emotional roller-coaster rides and I get to choose how I live my life. I don’t buy into other people’s rules, I have my own terms…the difference is I am now conscious of making better terms that suit me, the real me!
There is no one like you, you are a gift in this world, so please do not hide yourself. And remember that your personal power is in your ability to be authentic.