Continuing our theme for the month of September, we are talking about the many faces of Impact. This post is all about finding your true self, and purpose, and how in doing this you can have the biggest Impact of all…
What is Authenticity?
Authenticity. It’s a vague word. To some, it means to be original. To others, it means to be real. And to many, living authentically is far more elusive than it should be. We live in a world driven by material wealth, where we strive to adhere to standards of living that we did not agree to or set.
How many of us spend time doing something we do not like, to buy things we do not need, to impress people we do not even like?
Our standard of living is only conducive to the one we are living if that standard is one that is truly authentic to us. Materialism, and social acceptance do not allow for authenticity because to be authentic means, often, that we have to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable to the world and everybody in it is a scary thought for most of us, because to do this means we have to let down our guard. As human beings, we have been programmed from day one not to trust, not to stand out, not to attract attention. But in doing these things, we are missing, and actually foregoing all the pleasures of life that trusting, standing out, and attracting the attention from the right people will allow for us.
If we cannot be our true selves, then who are we being?
Oscar Wilde said; ‘Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.’
The biggest loss in not being our authentic selves is not the fact that we just live to a standard or a lifestyle that is not true to us, but in doing this, we miss the opportunity to become our best selves. And in being our best selves, this is where the magic happens. This is where you can truly start to make the difference to those around you and on the wider world as a whole.
So, in not being authentic to yourself, not only are you losing out, but the whole world is losing out on what you have to offer it. Nobody ever said that being yourself is easy. But it is the only true path you can take. And to be able to do something good in this world, and meaningful, does not mean you have to be curing disease, or become a genius. It just means that you have to be able to gift your unique talents and expertise to the world in a way of which is not hampered by lack of external wealth, material objects, and other potentially meaningless things. Because when you are being authentic to yourself, the things you truly desire in life; maybe a nice car, a large house, holidays to exotic places, or even the simpler things like good health, or more time with loved ones, all of these things will become a by-product of your life if you live to your truest self.
In being authentic, you will have more energy, more focus, and more internal fulfilment and live with more genuine happiness.
So, although authenticity can be elusive, although it can be a hard thing to determine what is true to you and what is being influenced by those around you, it is what we must all strive to be.
For in true authenticity, only here can we make a true Impact, and make a real difference to those around us.