Do you remember that one time in fifth grade when you had to read your fiction novel in front of your entire class? Well, maybe it wasn’t a fiction novel. Whatever it was, do you remember how nervous you were? If you have a fear of public speaking, you probably recall those moments from childhood and carried them into adulthood. The fear of failure from the past has lead to perfectionism in your adult life. You know that has to stop, right? Here’s why it’s imperative for you to resist the need to be perfect.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
If you’re unfamiliar with Brene Brown, I need you need to stop what you’re doing and check her out now. She is most famous for her talks on vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. Ok, now come back. Your life is changed, right?? Brene’s teachings are everything and more. Put her, Elizabeth Gilbert and Oprah Winfrey together, and they are my Holy Trinity on all things authentic.
What Brene understands is that to be shamelessly authentic, we must choose it. She says, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving – even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives. – The Gifts of Imperfection, p. 50
Being shamelessly authentic involves a lot of introspective evaluation. With all that that said, I want to share with you five ways you can be shamelessly authentic right now.
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
A few weeks ago, I was in New York for a job interview. That’s not information I’m willing to divulge because, what if. What if I start telling everyone who asks about the position and then I don’t get it?Did I jinx myself by speaking too soon? Although I do believe in keeping some things to yourself, other times, sharing the journey can make the desired outcome more real. I mean, the only real reason I didn’t want to discuss it is because of uncertainty. But as I’m reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, I’m realizing how much fear of the unknown is just an excuse not to live our best lives.
“Prayers are prophesies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.” The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
In 2005, I was 20 years old. I moved off campus and into my own apartment – all 602 square feet of it. I had no living room set, no cable, but it was my cozy home. As the frigid months approached, I realized that I was in way over my head. At the time, I was working part-time at a daycare making $7.25 an hour. I was a full-time college student. I had $1000 a month in bills to pay. I fell into a deep depression that year. Routinely, I would have a pastor friend of mine wake up at 6am and pray for me before I went in to work. Looking back, I know that it was only God that got me through that year.
About three months ago, I stopped talking to someone very dear to me. When evening came and I attempted to sleep, my heart began to race. You know, like I just ran a marathon or was about to be approached by zombies. Of course neither of those situations were the case.
It hit me: I just stopped talking to the only person I’ve remained in constant contact with.
When most little girls and boys were playing with baby dolls and action figures, I was busy entertaining myself with my board game called The Game of LIFE. Man, I wanted to be a grown up so bad that I was okay settling with the toy version of adulthood. Should I go to college or straight to work? Should I have a family of four or travel the world? Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. And surely, just like in real life, your choices will be affected by the path you choose. That’s just life.
Our real lives are very much like The Game of LIFE, isn’t it? Brimming with twists and turns and uncertainty. Change is indeed scary, but it is necessary for growth.
One who has finally learned that it is in the nature of objects to come and go without ceasing, rests in detachment and is no longer subject to suffering. —Ashtavakra Gita
I have a problem: I think I’ve grown attached.
Recently, I found myself lamenting to a friend about being alone. I cried about not having anyone. Yes, I have a few friends, but they have husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends and kids and dogs. That’s the sucky part about growing older. Everyone starts pairing up and you’re just crouched in a corner ripping the crust off of stale bread. Or whatever. Maybe you want what they have, maybe you don’t. All that matters is that you’ve become painfully aware of your aloneness as you mature.
So naturally, you try to find someone or something to attach to. You become attached and you want to do everything with that person. That’s not always possible or logical. So what do you do? You smack yourself in the face and say, “Self, get a grip and grow up.” People are not possessions and situations are not permanent.
It’s been an interesting week for me, health-wise. I pride myself on being transparent on this blog but as of late (and as a friend of mine pointed out), I’ve been “holding back”. Even on here, I feel like some things just aren’t meant to be shared. It’s always a difficult call to make but yours all the same.