Success in life, err, true happiness, requires that we live an authentic life. Try to live like someone else, and we will fall flat on our face in a heap of miserable failure. In work, in love, in our personal relationships; we cannot find our true destiny living a life chosen for someone else. Oscar Wilde called it right:
“Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken.”
The path to true fulfillment in life comes when we live the life meant for us. In a world where a “new, slimmer you” awaits us in a bottle and all will be made better with the promise of a “30-day, money-back guarantee,” many of us seem to have lost sight of the most important asset we have: our true selves. When we take the time – and do the work – to listen to that inner voice of who we truly are, we can live out the full potential of our lives and achieve true happiness.
In the world of business, employees can see through an artificial leader faster than a pane of glass. No one wants to be led by a manager who lacks the sincerity, integrity and honesty that comes from a great leader not in tune with his/her authentic self. Perhaps a testament to our era and the general malaise of society toward the turbulent times we live in, we want real leaders running our companies, our schools and our government. When we suspect the leadership before us is less than authentic, we start to get the sense we’re being duped and mistrust sets in.
It is no different in our personal lives.
Spending your days trying to be someone you are not is exhausting. You feel trapped and exhausted. Your days are consumed by trying to second-guess your decisions and hiding your true feelings and passions from those around you. If this is you, I hate to break it to you, but the life you are living isn’t yours. Get out while you can and rescue your soul! Throw a lifeline to yourself and go live the authentic life you are destined for!
Choosing to live an authentic life comes with hard choices. People may question us for the decisions we make and the seemingly unpopular turns they see us making. To show up everyday and be our true selves is a very daunting proposition. Most of us don’t have the courage to do it. It takes work. It takes being able to stand up to the criticism and the self-doubt that will creep in. But the rewards that come with knowing we are listening to who we really are and becoming who we are destined to be are beyond our imagination.
e. e. cummings wrote, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” Fight the battle! Fight for you!
Being your authentic self isn’t for the faint of heart, but trust me, try with all your strength – each and every day – to let that inner you find the strength and courage to shine…because it is so worth it to live freely!