This is my latest article for modbod. Thought it relevant:
“Live true. Be you.” It’s the motto here at modbod. But it’s meant to be so much more than an inspirational motivation. We believe being your authentic self is a life-changing prescription.
The power of authenticity cannot be overstated. So many of us spend far too much energy worrying about what people think, our image, and the expectations of others, that we sacrifice our own internal truths, desires, and callings. We give away our power in hopes that others will give our lives meaning. We sacrifice our emotional and mental health and expect society to tell us our worth at our heart’s expense. It never works.
Our world is starving for authenticity. We expect our president, our spouses, and our church leaders to be honest about who they are and what their agendas entail, yet we refuse to be honest with ourselves. We live by the expectations of our friends, family, and society, while rejecting the silent promptings and unique call of our own hearts. We sacrifice our personal truths for the truths of others and pretend to be happy about it. Meanwhile, everyone wants out, but nobody dares disrupt the “peace.”
The truth is, we’ve been taught from childhood that the most important mechanism for survival in this world is to fit in. Being liked is more valued than being true to ourselves, and therefore we’ve learned to see our true self as something to be suspicious of. We believe expressing our inner truth might ruin our relationships.
We couldn’t have it more backward.
When we ignore and suppress who we truly are, we die inside. It’s a slow and painful death, yet in the time we spend mastering our own denial we fail to foresee the day we wake up and resent everyone and everything around us – including ourselves. This is what causes relationships to suddenly end, families to split apart, and people to walk away from their lives to drink themselves into oblivion.
Those of us who don’t go off the deep-end slowly allow bitterness to overtake our joy, and life becomes a duty — an obligation. It’s no longer about living our passions, dreams, and desires, but simply about surviving and doing what we can to keep up an appearance of perfection. Well lie to everyone around us, including ourselves. We may be living, but we feel as though we might as well be dead.
The only way to break this heart-deadening cycle to turn inward — to our spirits, and listen to the calling of our hearts. The sooner we decide to be true to ourselves, the less painful and shocking it will be for those around us. We don’t have to wait until we become so unsatisfied with life that we walk away from it all. Every day we can listen. Every day we can choose to bring our truth to life’s table. Every day we can do something that brings us joy. Every day we can choose authenticity over facades. When we live true, we give those around us permission to do the same, and everyone is better for it. This is how we change the world.
Don’t succumb to the pressures of your culture, family, or society to “fit in.” Celebrate the uniqueness of you. You are the only one that can express your individual divinity. Do it with pride. It is only through authenticity that you will be set free. Live true. Be you.