Many years ago, I committed to living more authentically, I started to be more of myself across all spheres of my life – at work, with my family, in my relationships and, most importantly, with myself. While many people in my life embraced the more authentic Ritu, frankly, some didn’t. They found it very hard to adjust to my candor, boundary-drawing, and confidence. In fact, I even felt judged by a few friends and family members, and ultimately had to shed some relationships.
I was reminded of the sometimes-negative impact of choosing to live more authentically recently while on Instagram (as you may know, I love posting stories on IG! I follow Jas Kaur, a fab Punjabi fitness trainer from Australia, who has been talking very openly on IG about her journey to be more authentic. And, in doing so, she’s been receiving a range of negative backlash from her online community and from some people in her personal life. She’s also been very open about this negativity and how she’s overcoming it, which is so refreshing. I’m inspired by her authenticity!
As you can see, when you decide to start living more authentically, some may hate on your decision to better know, embrace and be who you are. Even though you’re making these behavioral shifts to live better and to be happier, some may have an adverse reaction to your life changes. The unfortunate part is that this may cause you to question your choice to be more of who you are.
There are two main reasons why people may have a hard time when you start to be more authentic.
First, when you start to reveal more of who you are in your interactions, it’ll be a wake-up call for others if they’re not already living this way. They will feel your increased vulnerability and openheartedness, and they’ll be reminded that they want to live more authentically. But, due to fear, they’re holding back. And so, instead of doing the hard work to be more of who they really are, they push down their own desires and your authenticity. Basically, they want you to stop living this way because you’re reminding them that they’re not choosing to make critical life changes.
On a related note, living more authentically will lead you to feel more liberated, to radiate more confidence, and be happier! And while that’s amazing for you, others may be threatened by your radiance and happiness, rather than feel joy for you. Instead, their envy or resentment may cause them to want to judge you. Or, perhaps even worse, they hold the mistaken belief that by tearing you down, they’ll feel better about their lives and choices they’ve made. But, as I’ve said before, tearing others down will never bring you true happiness.
When you feel like you’re being judged, it’s natural to doubt your decision to take steps to live more authentically. The negative energy you feel may lead you to question whether your new way of life is right for you. You’ll hear the gremlin – the voice in your head that spews negative self-talk – tell you that the haters are right, that you shouldn’t be courageous and bold in putting yourself out there.
This is a perfect time to reflect on how conforming and masking your true self led you to be miserable, and why your new way of living is critical for your happiness. You want to remind yourself of why you’ve taken the courageous step to be more vulnerable and authentic. You want a more meaningful and fulfilling life, that is filled with personal growth and genuine human connections.
You get to decide your happiness through the choices you make, and that this choice will serve you well at the end of the day. So, basically, shut out the noise!
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