au·then·tic [aw-then-tik] adjective
1. not false or copied; genuine; real
2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence
When we think of authenticity, what first comes to mind is an envelope enclosed with seal of red wax. We think of notaries and documents, but we hardly ever think of ourselves.
Since we were young, we have been told to strive to fit in. The mold we’ve been told to fit changes over time. In pre-school, we shouldn’t cry. In high school, we should be friendly with the popular crowd. In college, we should groom to get a job. In our twenties, we should steer our relationships toward marriage. And the list goes on and on, morphing, twisting, and turning us into spirals of what we should be — all to achieve some predetermined reward.
But guess what?
Letting your true self shine will grant you even larger rewards.
Instead of aiming for what others steer us toward, we should all aim for that what feels right deep inside. We have all something churning around that wants to be set free — creativity, words, a new business, a simmering love, .Chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. You probably know a few things you want to try, but you haven’t allowed yourself to start.
If you don’t try these things, are you being truly authentic?
What exactly is holding you back? Most times, our desire to fit in inherently hinders our creativity and ability to even let ourselves think about the possibilities churning deep within. But, what if you did? What if you allowed yourself the space to think about what you dream about doing (even if it seems crazy)?
Do me a favor. Take out a piece of paper, and make two columns. In the left column, write down your dreams. In the right column, next to each dream, write down the one single thing you can do today to achieve that dream. Don’t cheat — just one!
Congratulations! By allowing yourself to strive for what’s deep inside (who you really are), you’re one step closer to being the most authentic version of yourself.
Marcella Chamorro just released her first book, titled To Be or Like to Be: The Need for Authenticity in Online Marketing in the Era of Ultra-Informed Consumers. She is a blogger and consultant based in Nicaragua. Her work focuses on helping brands extend to the digital space.