The more I learn about anxiety, the more I realize just how widespread a problem it really is. There are millions upon millions of people all over the globe struggling with some sort of chronic anxiety disorder, often more than one type. Seeing how much people are suffering makes me really sad sometimes. It also pushes me to understand and overcome the limitations my own anxieties are still placing on my life.
One thing I’m becoming more aware of — and more pissed off about — is how often my own chronic anxiety is caused by hiding who I really am and trying to be someone I’m not. Hiding how I really feel because my opinions are different to the social norm. Hiding my true self behind a mask of what I think other people want me to be or want to see.
In reality, I’m an opinionated 25 year old wannabe Singsong Pop Princess, Dancing Queen, Disney Fanatic, Jungle Monkey, Gym Freak, Healthy Eater who is no longer afraid to show it.
We all heard the saying – ‘live your life’, ‘life your truth’. It means knowing and being yourself without the need for external validation. But unfortunetly in today’s societies, across Social Medias especially, this is what we get caught up in doing – Hiding who we truly are. Putting on persona’s because we’re afraid that we won’t be accepted by people if we show our own true personalities. Loosing our own vibes aspiring to be like people we’re not.
Being authentic means coming from a real place within. It is when our actions and words are in line with our personal beliefs and values. It is being ourselves, not an imitation of what we think we should be or have been told we should be. There is no ‘should’ in authentic.
In life, you should be honest. You don’t need to make excuses for yourself and you shouldnt be looking for something outside of yourself to complete you. You need to just set healthy boundaries, care for yourself, and live your principles. You are yourself fully and respectfully, and you don’t “turn it off” just to suit others’ needs or desires.
Hiding ones own authentic self produces feelings of immorality and impurity. We also commit ourselves to things we don’t enjoy or that don’t align with our personal beliefs. We bite our tongue. We won’t leave jobs we despise. We won’t travel or move away. We get stuck, frustrated and maybe even forget the errand leaving ourselves in existential flux. We try be people we’re not to become more popular but in doing so loose our authenticity.
We don’t stumble accidentally into an amazing life. It takes a conscious commitment to figuring out what we stand for — finding our truth. And this begins by looking inside ourselves, because when it rises from within, we have no choice but to express it, to live it. That is when magic happens: fulfillment, happiness, relationships and success.
When we deny our truth, we hurt ourselves deeply. We communicate to ourselves that we won’t meet our needs. It communicates shame, fosters guilt and creates angst. I’ve felt it time and again.
I used to get so wrapped up in what other people thought, sometimes I would find myself feeling a clamor of anxiety and discontent. For a while I didn’t even know why. I was a million miles from my former mood, constantly worrying and I didn’t know how I got there.
BUT I DO KNOW NOW – and it’s because I was so wrapped up in what others would say.
Living your truth is daunting and yet empowering, unimaginable but possible, raw and fulfilling. It may be the greatest gift we can give ourselves, but it can be completely overwhelming.