In a world where photoshop, fake news and social media influencers (who supposedly know enough to tell us how to live our life) are conditioning the way we experience our midlife journey, authenticity seems a foreign concept. But still, everyone wants to be authentic, yet people who preach this virtue often don’t understand exactly what the word means.
“To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect and vulnerable – says researcher and author Brené Brown-. We have to believe that we are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are. I’ve learned that there is no better way to invite more grace, gratitude and joy into our lives than by mindfully practising authenticity.”
Someone might argue: “We all wear masks“, however it wouldn’t harm to ask ourselves, from time to time, why and when we wear them. Maybe we doubt our talents or our uniqueness?
Authenticity is also about presence, living in the moment with conviction and confidence and staying true to ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy: it requires the personal wisdom that comes from an inner journey to uncover our honest feelings and emotions.
According to Tchiki Davis, PhD, author and founder of the Berkley Well-Being Institute: “Our Authentic Self often has a lot of fear, sadness, and anger. Our true selves were hurt and that’s why the Adaptive Self took over. However, the difficult secrets we hide from ourselves are what make us who we really are. So as much as possible, and as slowly as you need to, courageously explore the truth of what makes you who you are. Identifying, experiencing, accepting, and letting go of these buried emotions is exactly what fuels your Authentic Self“.
Shutting up and trying to fit in, as we all know from experience, doesn’t really work, feel good, or lead us to anything meaningful or fulfilling in life. My wish is that we start to be brave enough to speak our mind at midlife and make telling the truth a habit, avoiding falling into a pattern of lying for convenience’s sake. This is the right time to make peace with ourselves and the woman we’ve become. We are often more ready than we realize for this positive change: we have survived many of life’s challenges and truly know ourselves. Don’t silence your true voice now that you have found it.