Authenticity and Fear of Being Seen

It’s the week before finals, so you know what that means – time to write a blog post instead of studying!

I’d like to talk about my horrendous failure at being authentic.

Authenticity and vulnerability are kind of “in” right now… which is so great. I definitely want to live in a world where everyone is radically themselves, where no one hides who they are and everyone feels comfortable in their own skin. Yes please!

But um… I suck at it. I try really really hard, but I have spent so much of my life being a little personality chameleon. I bet a lot of you can relate, especially you women and especially you introverted women (hey friends!). Isn’t it just easier to go with the flow (that’s a good thing right?!), not cause a fuss and adapt to the circumstances? Yep, it sure is easier. For everyone else around you.

But not for you.

Not to get all DOWN WITH THE PATRIARCHY! on you, but women have had to evolve to adapt. We go with the flow because it’s in our nature and we did it to survive. Thank God the world is largely different now, but that adaptability and fear of causing a fuss is still deeply ingrained in a lot of us. Many of us were probably raised that way, because it’s seen as polite. And God forbid we aren’t polite. God forbid someone not like us.

And that’s the root of it, right? We are terrified of not being liked.


My cat, who is radically authentic even though it means people hate him

If we’re agreeable and adaptable and polite, everyone will probably like us. And if they don’t, we can – you guessed it – adapt some more until they do. Genius! But if we are radically authentic, and people don’t like us… well that’s it then, isn’t it? They don’t like us. The real us. And that can hurt.

I’ll say it – I’m terrified of not being liked. The idea of rubbing someone the wrong way makes me sweat.

But a couple of years ago, trying to maintain this illusion of being “likeable” became hard to bare. Maybe it was because I was getting older, or maybe it was because I realized I’m going to HAVE to start being myself if I’m going to be running a business in the next few years that centers around my beliefs and opinions (and science… duh).

So I practice voicing my opinions even when they don’t line up with someone else’s. I wear crystals at the risk of being made fun of (guess what, no one really cares). I write posts like this.

I suck at being authentic, but I’m getting better.  And you know what’s a cool bonus? When you’re authentic, it’s easier to meet like-minded people because you attract those who see things the way you do. Yay for more friends and more successful networking!

I’ve learned after so many years of trying to be my best self that you have to really be terrible at something before you can be good at it. So, I’m happy sucking at being authentic for a while… it just means I’m trying, and someday I’ll be great at it!





P.S. Thoughts running through my head before I hit “publish”:

  • Is this pathetic?
  • What if people I know read this?
  • Yep, delete that shit, delete it now!
  • Wait don’t say shit, that’s offensive to some people
  • Well that wouldn’t be authentic, right? Oh God help me!
  • People are going to judge me… uhhhh
  • Why am I even writing anything at all? Who cares???

..and then I got tired of my own crap and hit the damn button =)))


2 thoughts on “Authenticity and Fear of Being Seen

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