The first guidepost of wholehearted living, according to author and researcher Brené Brown is;
Cultivating Authenticity – Letting Go of What People Think.
I have to admit that in my 20’s I was very concerned with what others thought of me and made it the basis of many of my decisions. I wanted to be considered a “cool party girl” and acted accordingly. I was obsessed with dieting, exercise and what I wore. I would often drink more than I was comfortable with to ‘prove’ that I was a bad ass that could keep up with the guys. This started to shift as I went into my 30’s when I realized that I was never going to be “enough” for the people I tried the hardest to impress. I noticed that I was spending much more time and energy on these relationships and that they were much less meaningful, fun and easy as other relationships. Once I started to become more comfortable with myself I began developing a new quality of friendships and relationships, both personally and professionally.
Authenticity sounds great, but often in our own lives we find ourselves trapped by worrying about what other people think. We are wired for belonging and many times think we need to try to act a certain way to “fit in.” Paradoxically, Brene’s research has found that when compromise who we are to fit in or belong, we no longer belong to ourselves. We betray what we know to be right for us and this is not true belonging. True belonging is being able to first belong to yourself and then connect with others.
This is more important than ever in a world that is increasingly more divisive. We need to be clear about who we are and what is okay or not okay. We can do this in a respectful and curious way when our views, beliefs or personalities do not match with others. I encourage you to reflect on how you are showing up in relationships and if it aligns with your authentic self. It is normal to be scared showing up in this way, so consider joining other Daring Women who are doing the same.