We tend to respect people that are not afraid to be authentic. It is usually not a matter of agreement, yet it has everything to do with authenticity. I have personally felt a pang of jealousy when I hear someone say exactly what they mean regardless of the opinions of others. Disagreement usually takes place when someone decides to challenge the individual speaking up; nevertheless, that argument would’ve never happened had not one person boldly expressed their thought process. It takes guts to get yourself out there and be yourself. This post is not about challenging the norm or doing the exact opposite of what society may show to be acceptable behavior. This is about authenticity.
I have personally always said that “I don’t care” truly means “I care.” I had spoken about this before. There is a quote that I saw online that read something like this “Never apologize for saying what you feel; that’s like apologizing for being real.” Now, don’t get this idea wrong. Sometimes our true feelings can hurt others. If we are responsible enough to hurt someone’s feelings, then we better be ready to hear crap that we are not ready to digest. This is not about being a jerk; authenticity is sensitive to others if it originates from a healthy place.
A recent study explored the differences between individuals driven by popular opinions and those driven under personal control (Vasesia, Nunes, and Ordanini, 2016). It was revealed that opinions that stem from larger populations are not as valuable as those that are expressed from an authentic sense of purpose. This is because while popularity can seem to have greater exposure and agreement achieved among people, authenticity and “being real” create the sense of trust. If you look closely at those relationships that you truly trust, you may be able to identify why specifically you may feel more comfortable with these. It is a sense of safety, closely knowledge, and uniqueness.
Growing authentic can be hard because you may feel that you are leaving yourself open to others; nevertheless, you may soon find that you have an increased sense of peace. You will see that you do not need to maintain an image, please others, seek out to be pleased, and will potentially sleep better at night. There are no pretensions, or pretending to be someone else for the sake of keeping a relationship. You may also find out how much you do like yourself.
It has taken me years to build the courage to allow others to see who I really am. It has taken me even longer to stop saying “I don’t care,” because I saw the falseness in that statement. I have learned little by little to accept that this is exactly who God made me to be. There are relationships that will be built to remain, while others may be scheduled to expire. The choice is yours.
Have the courage to be who you are. Start slowly, but do not delay. This is the one life that you have; live wisely.
VALSESIA, F., NUNES, J. C., & ORDANINI, A. (2016). What Wins Awards Is Not Always What I Buy: How Creative Control Affects Authenticity and Thus Recognition (But Not Liking). Journal Of Consumer Research, 42(6), 897-914.