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September 17, 2020 2 min read

Something that I have been reveling with recently is the idea with being truly authentic. To be honest with the people around you and to stay true to who you are. To connect with others in a real and open way. What is one of the most influential things that is keeping us from being authentic? Shame. It’s a powerful and diminishing attribute of our daily lives. This word asks the question, “Is there something about me, that if people see, will view me not worthy of connection?” The “I am (____) enough” mindset is rooted from shame. It creates a false void in ourselves when in reality there is a mountain of good that we have to offer to others, and most importantly we have to offer for ourselves. 

What is the best weapon to fight against shame? Authentic connection. The simple yet powerful relationship between two or more people being real and honest with one another. When we open up to someone else, and do our very best to let go of that shame with another person, that connection builds us up, it empowers us, and helps lead us to become more authentic people. 

In order for connection to happen, we need to allow ourselves to be seen. Connection can channel through many different ways (texting, phone call, face-to-face, Facetime, etc.) but we need to create a space for ourselves and others to be comfortable, and seen as exactly for who they are. 

The most powerful and integral way to build connection? To share a strong sense of love and belonging. To do that though, you first need to believe you have that for yourself. When you start believing in yourself, that alone will create a clearer picture of your true and authentic self. The people who have a strong sense of love and belonging, believe they do.

Another important facet of this concept to understand is that nobody is perfect. So often I think people find themselves attempting to be perfect around others, when in reality, they are just as imperfect as the next person. So, how do we combat this idea that we need to be good enough for others? To have the courage to say you are not perfect. What does it mean to you to have the courage to be imperfect? For me, it is letting go of what I ‘should’ be and to soak in who I am. And being comfortable in that. 

Being vulnerable, being real, being authentic, it’s tough. Especially when there are so many ways to present ourselves. Through social media, through the clothes we wear, to the things we say, so many different ways.

So going back to the idea of authenticity. How do we, to the best of our ability as imperfect humans, be authentic?

Let yourself be seen. 

Personally believe that you are enough and that you are valued, because that will not only react to how you see yourself, but how you will see others. It will impact how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Vulnerability and authenticity are not signs of weakness, they are staples of courage. 

Be authentic.  Be you.

Steve Weigel
Steve Weigel

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