In authenticity, you will find great value. So how do you allow your authentic self to come forward?
Examine what you fear about letting yourself be yourself. Are you afraid that you’ll appear foolish, or that you won’t be accepted, or that you’ll be humiliated? Those are all fears that revolve around what other people think. But does it really matter what other people think of you? There is no way you can control what other people think, so there’s no point in trying. If you’re concerned about making a good impression, then keep in mind that the way to make the best impression is by being yourself, your authentic self.
Let go of the guilt. Perhaps you have the idea that it’s selfish to be yourself, that you somehow owe it to others to hold yourself back. Actually, it’s the other way around. You have much to give to life, and to others in this world. The way to bring all that value to the surface is by thinking and speaking and acting from your heart, from the essence of who you truly are. By all means, seek to lift up others, to be generous and compassionate. And realize that the very best way to do that is by truly being yourself.
Strengthen your self-awareness with gratitude. In order to live authentically, you must know yourself. Like many other things, this process begins with gratitude. Start by counting your blessings. Challenge yourself to identify as many of the good things in your life and in your world as you can find. Then, go a little deeper by examining why each of them is important to you. Become an explorer in your own ocean of purpose. Seek to dive deeper and deeper into that purpose, and to connect again and again with what is most meaningful for you. By being secure in who you are, you will easily and naturally begin to translate that inner purpose into outer actions.
Accept the wonderful and powerful fact that you are unique. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others because that will inevitably lead to the false conclusion of “I’m not good enough.” The fact is, you are one of a kind, and that’s a beautiful thing. You’re not here to live someone else’s dream. You’re here to express your own unique purpose. When you feel yourself beginning to compare yourself to someone else, stop. Stop and remind yourself that you have so very much unique value to offer. Consider how free and joyful and at peace you feel when you’re doing something you truly love. Choose to feel that way about all that you are.
Be in love with life. When you’re in love, you do silly, stupid things. And those silly, stupid things come straight from the heart, straight from the authentic person you are. Be in love with the moment, and you’ll give to it from your heart. Be in love with life, and you’ll bring to it your great, authentic value.