Is your life based on the authentic you?
Or is your life built on a lie? Are you sure?
Well, have you ever broken up with a special someone, and come to believe that something is wrong with you?
Have you ever failed at work, in business or in life in general, and wondered whether you had what it takes to be a success?
When we think we are broken, we look for a solution. We look to improve ourselves. We do minor repairs on our lives.
Unfortunately, it is quite possible that what is wrong with your life is that it is built on a lie. That the life you have been living is not really yours. And no amount of repairs on a life that isn’t your own, or that never gets started, are going to get you where you want to go.
Our failures in life are the direct result of our resistance to being our authentic self and to doing that which we are meant to do in life.
On Being YOU
I always assumed that there were two states that a human psyche could have: you could either focus on doing something, or you could focus on being someone.
Doing involves taking action It is the verb in our lives that defines how we consciously act in pursuit of what we want. While doing we can be alone, though most humans, as social creatures, prefer to do things together.
The art of being is the capacity for solitude, which is the ability to be alone without anxiety. Solitude is where you find yourself; where you focus fully on you. Only by first being can you later do what you are meant to. And only by knowing yourself can you effectively reach out to other people and form real attachments.
A healthy life has a balance of both being and doing.
Recently, I realized that there is a third state – the art of fiddling. I’m not talking about playing music, here. For me, fiddling is the art of not doing much of anything while simultaneously feeling so guilty of that fact that I cannot focus on being myself or anyone else, leaving myself in an effective state of suspended agitation. I have wasted most of my life in this third state.
Then there is a fourth state – I call this faking it. A lot of folks seem to focus their life on trying hard to be someone they are not. We believe that our true self is fatally flawed, or we fear assuming power over our lives through fully embracing our authentic selves. We want to be someone cooler than ourselves – or prettier, or whatever. I suspect that many of us think that this is how self-improvement is done. Unfortunately, self-improvement is impossible without first fully embracing who you really are, warts and all. So efforts to improve your inauthentic life will not stick.
In my research I have discovered that most people seem to work very hard at either fiddling or faking it, but very few actually know how to be or do.
Few people know themselves well. This corresponds with the fact that even fewer people are comfortable with self-reflection.
So we practice copying other people’s looks and mannerisms and interests and whatever, all in trying to build a better me. Our acts of doing involve the pursuit of what we suppose we want, or think we ought to want, all in the role of being this new, “improved” but utterly false, self.
Whether we are fiddling or faking it, we are not our authentic self. And when we aren’t our authentic self, we are incapable of improving ourselves, or of forming meaningful attachments to others. As a result our relationships fail. When you don’t have a deep and fulfilling relationship with yourself, you cannot have such a thing with anyone else, either.
I propose here that the pursuit of an inauthentic life (faking it), or the failure to pursue any real life whatsoever (fiddling), each amount to a total waste of your life. This path also involves the greatest surrender of power we can commit against ourselves.
Accept Your Power
We were created powerful, but most of us are either afraid of that power, or don’t believe it exists.
Our power comes from being as truly authentic as we can be. I find the process of judging ourselves and finding want is ridiculous. We are exactly as we are meant to be. Each of us has unique power that we must discover and develop if we are going to live fulfilled lives and experience exciting relationships. Any other path leads to disaster and disappointment.
The sad fact is that the failures we fear experiencing as a result of being ourselves are actually guaranteed by our efforts to avoid being ourselves.
So what should we do?
First, we must understand that self-improvement can only be achieved once we embrace our true selves. And that means being, which means we must acquaint ourselves with the process of self-reflection.
We must learn to be comfortable with solitude.
Our fear of solitude is our fear of seeing ourselves as we really are. It is a form of denial through false busy-ness. We don’t have time for it, we tell ourselves. Yet once we accept that living inauthentically leaves us spinning our wheels in life, we understand why all of our hard work and incredibly busy lives aren’t getting us anywhere.
Authenticity is the foundation on which a successful and satisfying life is constructed. Fail to allow it, and everything else you do is a waste of your life.
So start today and take a moment to get comfortable being alone with you. Not a prettier you or stronger you – just you. Acceptance of the current you is the first step to being the ultimate you.
All the best,