The world can seem pretty fake at time. You may even wonder if you are being fake or surrounding yourself with fake people. I love to mention authentically and vulnerability when writing. Being authentic and vulnerable is the gateway to being genuine with yourself. The majority of us become so confused with maintaining appearances and trying to impress other people that we neglect truly understanding ourselves.
Below are 4 ways that you can battle being fake in your own life.
1. Create an environment for self-awareness. The only way to embrace authenticity is to learn who you are. For years I had no idea who I actually was. I have always felt like I was introspective but I often put myself in a position where I was always distracted by other things which took away take time to do any real self-analysis. Some of us get into patterns that discourage learning about ourselves. You might find that you keep yourself busy with work, hobbies, social media and other things to prevent yourself from enjoying your own company. This solitude is sometimes necessary to gain awareness of who you are and what you want. You might be chasing external validation so much that you never really ask yourself what you want from your life.
2. Be authentic with other people. Start being real with the people in your life. You might not realize how being inauthentic has entered into many areas of your life. Take small steps to being authentic with others. Below are a few ways you can become more authentic with others.
Start saying no more often. You might be in a habit of always accepting invitations to events that you may or may not actually attend. Since you don’t want people to dislike you for rejecting the invitation you might tell them you will come or will do your best to make it, rather than saying no. When you begin saying no immediately, you’ll start being authentic with others and yourself. Let’s say you don’t like to go hiking with your friend group. You always said yes but it was never something you actually enjoyed. Once you begin saying no, you’ll be in a better position to communicate your authenticity to yourself and others. Your friends will also realize that you don’t really enjoy hiking and will get a better idea of which events to invite you to instead.
Communicate authentically. I used to be the type to stay silent when opinions were different to mine. I did this because I was afraid of what people would think of me if they knew my real opinions or that my opinions didn’t matter. By staying silent, I was not communicating my thoughts to others and I wasn’t having confidence in my own beliefs. Communicate with others with honesty, respect and compassion. Let other people know if you have a different perspective. Don’t be fearful to tell someone that you didn’t enjoy a movie or show. When you have a conflict with a loved one, communicate authentically about your feelings. Don’t hold your voice inside or be afraid to say what you think. The more you practice communicating authentically, the easier it will be to have confidence in your own voice.
Leave bad habits such as gossiping and rumor spreading alone. Being authentic with others requires that you avoid talking badly about others and spreading negativity with other people. Gossiping is a cheap way to earn someone’s friendship. Using shared negativity as a way to connect with others is harmful to the friendship and prevents you from being authentic.
Show your emotions authentically. Many times people feel more comfortable only showing the positive emotions. You want to demonstrate to others that life is amazing and you are always happy. When others seem upset, you instantly want to try to cheer them up and get them to be happy straight away. The issue with always needing to only show positive emotions is you are unable to relate to people and be authentic with yourself. Many of the best interactions I have had with people are when they can show me that they get angry, annoyed, upset, happy, sad, joyous, excited and the other range of emotions too. I like to feel like I can relate to someone. Most people do. When you only feel comfortable showing your positive sides, you’ll find it harder to connect with people and also to be honest with yourself about when you aren’t feeling so great.
Stop trying to please others. If you feel like you are a people pleaser than you are not being authentic with other people. Focusing on being nice and making people like you has very little to do with authenticity. Being authentic means that you are able to please others when necessary but also can take care of your own needs first and foremost.
3. Be present with an experience. Many of us struggle with trying to be present during an experience. We have to take pictures of us catching up with friends, at a concert, seeing a new sight purely just to show the moment on social media networks. The issue with finding the perfect moments to share is that you end up not actually enjoying the experience. I’ve been traveling with people where once a person gets the perfect photo they are ready to go onto the next destination for the next photo. Enjoying the moment seems to be secondary after capturing the image with your camera. To prevent myself from falling into this habit, I’ve had to purposely not take photos of myself often during traveling. I’ll take some photos of myself but not at most sights and not during most outings with friends. I’ve also gotten into the habit of not sharing a photo every time I meet up with someone. My social media might not have a post every week but it allows me to genuinely enjoy the moment. You may find that you post frequently as a way to impress people or to promote an image of yourself. Once you understand why you feel the need to capture every moment for social media, you can work to simply enjoy the moment for what it is.
4. Step out of your comfort zone. Being comfortable allows the fakeness to continue since your main focus is agreeing and getting along with the people in your support network. Challenge yourself by interacting with people and things that feel different to you. One thing I love about traveling is that I meet people from different backgrounds, perspectives, faiths, motivations and so on. In this environment I genuinely get to know people and don’t just stick with the people that make me feel comfortable. As a result I can become open-minded to new perspectives and can share my perspectives of the world, even if those people don’t necessarily agree with them. When you only surround yourself with people who think and see the world the same way you do, you might start to feel like your view is right, superior and that everyone else is wrong. There are many interesting angles to viewing the world. Allowing yourself to connect with people who think differently can challenge you to grow, think differently and be tolerant to differing opinions.