Blocks to Authenticity:
There are several blocks to living an authentic life. The top three are worrying about what others think of us, an inability to say no due to the desire to people-please and the common concern that honesty is sometimes hurtful and unkind. But let’s break them down further and see how we can overcome these obstacles to authenticity.
1) Worrying about what people think of you (and how to stop it)
Being worried about what other people will think of us and whether we will face rejection as a result of honestly expressing ourselves, is a very natural concern. Although this is a possibility, it is worth remembering that when we honestly and diplomatically express a difference of opinion, it can actually lead others to respect us more as a result of the integrity we have displayed. Furthermore, I would argue that those who reject us because we have a different opinion to them are quite controlling and narcissistic by nature, whereby their approval is conditional upon us conforming to their worldview – certainly not the type of friend I would want to seek out! Once you come to this realisation you too are likely to be much less worried about what people may or may not think about you when you express yourself honestly.
2) The people-pleaser trap (how to say no when you don’t want to do something)
Many people fear rejection if they choose to be honest and say no to others requests. There may be many reasons why you don’t want to carry out the request. You may not have enough time, you might feel taken for granted as if it’s expected, you may simply not want to. Being authentic means being honest and saying no when you don’t have the time, desire or ability to perform a request that has been asked of you. This requires assertiveness and a strong commitment to be true to who you are. If you think you may have an underlying assertiveness issue with saying no please read ‘Sick of overextending yourself? Learn how to say no’.
3) Kind vs. Honest (and how you can be both)
A lot of the time people assume that being honest no matter what leads to peoples’ feelings being hurt, as if honesty were the enemy of kindness. This doesn’t have to be the case though! I could very diplomatically say that although I personally like my friends outfit, it may be too dressy for the event she is going to or, if I didn’t like it, that I thought she had better outfits that showed off her figure more. It’s all dependent on how you phrase things. It’s usually possible to share your honest opinion and cushion it with a compliment so that what you say is kind too.
Stay tuned – next Monday learn the amazing benefits of living an authentic life and the steps you can take to start living one.
Can you relate to any of the three blocks to authenticity? Which of the three do you relate to most? How have these blocks to authenticity prevented you from being your most authentic self in the past? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
‘Getting Real: Ten Truth Skills You Need To Live An Authentic Life’ by PhD Susan Campbell