I pride myself on being as authentic as humanly possible because it’s so important to me. How can you build trust with anyone if you’re not being your true self ya know? But a few weeks ago I had this moment in the middle of the isle in my local grocery store and it stopped me dead in my tracks. “Well crap, maybe I’m not as authentic as I thought.”
You see, it was the most innocent thing really. Hardly even mentionable. I was browsing some mugs and I picked one up to put in my cart. I can’t even remember what it said to be honest but suddenly I froze with it still in midair.
“Why are you buying this?” I asked myself.
“It’s cute.” I thought.
“Is that really why?”
I thought about it. Why was I buying it? And then the truth smacked me upside the head—or at least that’s what it felt like. I realized that I was buying it because I thought the ladies in my Facebook group would like it. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself but when I asked myself if I actually liked it, I was kind of meh about it.
I slowly put it back on the shelf as I began to wonder how many of my decisions were actually motivated by what I thought other people would think instead of what I actually wanted. Did I even really know myself at all?
I pondered that for the rest of the day and suddenly really began to identify with Julia Robert’s character in “Runaway Bride” where she continuously gets engaged and flees her wedding again and again. She doesn’t even know what kind of eggs she likes because she always just eats whatever her fiancé likes. Near the end of the movie she has this spread of a ton of different kinds of eggs in front of her so she can actually decide for herself what kind she likes instead of just following someone else’s lead. Simple really, but beautiful.
I think becoming self aware of the motivations behind our decisions is pretty crucial to becoming truly authentic. In this day and age of showing up online and gaining new followers while putting our lives on display, just remember to take a moment here and there to make sure that you’re making decisions based on what YOU want and not on what you think other people will like.
If you find yourself unsure of what that truly is, just make a bunch of different kinds of eggs and taste them all until you know which one you actually like best. Or, you know, the equivalent of that.
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