‘Be yourself’ – only two words that have so much wisdom in them, but we often find ourselves confused with what does that mean practically? People use this advice all the time. But I’m curious to find how can we define authenticity in a human being?
I found the most profound description by Martha Graham, the American dancer, and choreographer she describes it as ”A vitality, a life force, an energy or quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”
How beautiful is it to know that we all have a unique expression to contribute to the world, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. We have the responsibility to identify it, develop it through work, practice and further share it with the world. That’s the only way we can make the world a better place.
Now the reason why it is very hard to be ourselves is because we have been conditioned by our education system and culture to fit in. But how can we fit in, when we were born to stand out and being unique?
Some philosophers, & psychologists claim that the person you are today is 80% a product of the environment you grew up in. The people, the culture, the belief system and the energetic vibration. Only 20% of who you are today is your authentic expression that comes naturally to you.
Now the question is how can we be more ourselves and express our uniqueness in this world? Well, this is an ongoing process that requires lots of passion and determination, the ‘digging in’ process that I usually refer to is our personal development journey that doesn’t end as long as we breathe. By working with ourselves and dig in ourselves we develop self-awareness, self-love, and compassion. This way we are much better equipped to create the life that we are happy and proud to live.
However, people ask me – ok how do I know when I am authentic? How do I know what I’m being myself? Here is a clue: in any given situation, relationship or interaction with another human being whether that is at home, at work or in social settings – you don’t betray yourself in any way. For example one of my core values is honesty. When in the past I was put into a situation that I was required to be dishonest even for something minor – I experienced stress inside my soul. This is because my core value has been violated by an external reason and that caused pain in my body and negative emotions.
If this is something that someone is required to do on a consistent basis, betraying ourselves will be detrimental to our self-esteem and self-respect. The opposite is also true as long as we act and think according to our core values, in line with our authentic nature we are building our self-worth and self-respect for ourselves.
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Love X Ferenike