So I know I am a little late with this whole thing, but a lot of my friends have been choosing words or themes of what they want 2016 to embody! Some of the examples of these are: simplicity or hope. I wanted to join them in the journey of selecting a word or rather a theme for this year. I had been mulling over different words to choose from, and struggled with picking or settling for just one. For the first time that I can remember, I actually have positive feelings about the upcoming year as a whole. This brought me a ton of excitement for the unknown and all the possibilities and opportunities that 2016 may have for me.
The words “fearlessly authentic” and “fierce” have popped up a lot in the beginning of this year for me, not sure if that was a sign or if my attention just gravitated to those words! Both of these themes make me think of boldness or bravery, some qualities I often times feel as though I am lacking, however they are something that I strive to have more of each day! They are deep, and they ask me to step out of my comfort-zone and do something that is risky, something that is unordinary for me. I think that I used to be a people pleaser. Something that I am not proud of, but it is part of who I am, it is part of my journey. It is hard for me to discover who I am while I am standing there trying to please anyone who crosses paths with me. I start to lose who I am, and I end up focusing my life on what other people want me to do. This is something that I have tried to stop for years now. It takes a lot of work, and at times I fall back into those old habits however I believe that I have come away and I am happy to continue to grow in this.
So the word that I am choosing for my 2016 is:
Whether it be fearlessly or fiercely, I will try them both!
Being authentic can take on many different looks. It may look like:
- Sitting on the floor crying with a friend about feelings but not being ashamed of them.
- Texting someone “too many times” just because you thought of them, and not worrying about what you are “supposed” to be doing [as told by society]
- Making unconventional life choices, while everyone else is against them or seems to think that you are not “doing it right” or that you will fail.
- Stopping in the middle of a project or work to be there for someone who needs you. Dropping everything and being present with them in their moment.
- Sharing emotions and fears with others when you would normally keep them in due to concern of how they will perceive you.
- Doing things that make you happy, just because it makes you happy.
- Blasting music that you love just to feel it!
I don’t want to be a cliché, I don’t want the word to be lost in meaning. I want to change the word “authentic” in my life. It has deep meaning to me, it is not a hipster word with silly meaning. It is not something that I just throw around willy nilly. It is something that embodies each and everyone of us to the core.
I do not live a conventional life. I do not thrive off of “what the world wants me to do”. I float around and am trying to figure out who I really am, deep down. Doing so without the chatter of the world, or at least am learning to try. I mean yes, I do care about what certain people’s opinions are in my life. It is just a matter of caring too much about the wrong opinions that I have to watch out for. In Daring Greatly by Brené Brown she describes a helpful exercise, “Take a 1-inch by 1-inch square of paper and make a list of people whose opinions matter to you- the people on that list should be those people who love you, not despite your vulnerabilities and imperfections, but because of your vulnerabilities and imperfections.” she says, “If you need more paper, you need to edit.”
This week I stumbled across an interview that Brené did with Chase Jarvis about this specific topic. She talked about the 1-inch piece of paper, and she reminded everyone that it is important to care what other people think, as long as it is the right people. She explained, “When you don’t care at all what anyone thinks, you lose your capacity for connection. When you are defined by what people think you lose the courage to be vulnerable.” I mentioned in my first blog on here, that I wanted to be vulnerable with all of you, and that it would take some getting used to. I believe that being authentic takes lots of vulnerability we just need to learn how to do it properly so that it does not destroy us or open the door to letting others define who we are. Staying true to ourselves.
Let’s try to start this year finding who we are, deep deep down to the core, and being proud of it. There is no need to be fake towards others, because if they are not on your paper, then their opinions do not deserve to define you. A friend of mine once said, “not everyone deserves your vulnerability” and I couldn’t agree more! Let’s sit and think about who’s opinions matter to us, and be authentic with those people. Be authentic with everyone, just remember who you are, and who you matter to. Stop letting other people control your choices or opinions, when they are not the ones living your life. Be open to the voices that matter, and brush off the ones that don’t.
And if you want to check out the amazing interview by Brené Brown, I have added the link here. It may be long, but I think it is well worth your time!