A while ago, I was scrolling through Pinterest (my favourite social medium) and came across this lovely quote which read:
Don’t trade your authenticity for approval.
I stopped right there and let the meaning of the quote sink in. And when it did, I knew I had to write a blog post based on this.
Before going ahead with this blog post, I want you to do a mini exercise. Just take a few minutes and think of an answer to the question I’m going to pose before you.
“Who are you?”
Think carefully and if it helps, write it down.
Pretty sure we all will have answers which describe our roles in our personal and professional lives. These are superficial answers. Do you know who you really are?
Given that we have some extra time in hand these days, we can all put it to good use and think over this question until we finally manage to describe ourselves in the truest form.
We are quite accustomed to living our lives based on what people will think of us. Yes, that’s the truth and I readily accept being one among the herd. Every time we do something, we first think of whether someone is going to approve what we are doing. I might even think whether my readers will approve of what I just wrote. We are habituated to it. Seeking approval has become like a second skin to us.
We’re so used to basing our actions on other people’s perceptions that we have forgotten to accept who we are wholeheartedly. The truth is that no matter how much we try, we can never be perfect in all means. The concept of flawless is wreaking havoc in the world.
Rather than worrying about perceptions, why can’t we accept ourselves in our most authentic form? There are certain traits within us which we particularly do not like. And instead of letting them be, we try to alter our behaviour to look “more acceptable.”
Each time we do this, we inch closer to being a replica of someone else and go farther away from who we actually are. Soon there will come a time where we will turn into a “somebody”. The game of fighting for approval continues.
Just a few days ago, I saw this post on Terribly Tiny Tales which read,
“Isn’t it ironic how we expect others to love us when we haven’t figured out how to love ourselves?”
How true is that! This never-ending chain of trying to live up to other’s perceptions makes us hate ourselves more and more. Instead, why can’t we accept all the good and the bad about us? Perfection is an enemy, and this comes from a person who herself is a perfectionist. Trust me, it kills the joy out of everything when you try to make everything looks flawless.
If you think back to your childhood, the most cherished memories are probably going to be the ones where you were your reckless best. The time you dressed up like a clown for a fancy dress competition, the time you played all evening with your siblings and friends, hair messed up, clothes drenched with sweat. Why is it that we remember such incidents in more detail and with more glee than the rest? Because we were our most authentic selves.
There is so much we can learn from children. They speak their mind, do what their heart wants to without caring two hoots about other’s perceptions. Somewhere in growing up, we left behind the child in us. I guess that’s why we hardly feel like the person we were in our childhood. We conditioned ourselves to fit the bill so much that we left behind our rawness and authenticity.
Of course, it is going to take a lot of effort to rewire ourselves to accept the real us. To accept our flaws and do what we want to. Only time will tell!
Until next time, stay safe and stay indoors. This too shall pass.
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