It’s Me! Really! (and other notions of authenticity)

Hang on to your ego
Hang on, but I know that you’re gonna lose the fight

– Brain Wilson
I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone ‘needs help’. Of course, this last statement can be taken in a number ways. Be that as it may, my focus in this post … the point I’d like to make … the crux of the issue is that there are many people out there, and bloggers in particular, that are desperately trying very hard to be themselves, but just can’t fake it.
That’s right, I said ‘fake it’. It seems a running topic on several blogs I’ve come across is ‘authenticity’ and its definition or application, assuming there is such a thing. I imagine this is a big issue because so much of our society’s feeble mindedness stems from the media ‘selling’ us almost everything. As a consequence, consumers, assuming there really is such a thing anymore, have become naturally distrustful in an effort to mask thier gullability and penchant for ‘rubber necking’.
For many, there is a war on. Some are trying very hard to simply be themselves, despite the fact that they are often met with quizzical faces or outright apathy. Then, there are others who yearn to evolve and embrace ‘real’ change in their lives. Telling the latter to ‘just be yourself’ may very well represent an affront to their sensitivities. The rest of combatants in this war, and most likely the clear majority, are those who are very busy lobbing advice telling everyone else what they should be, what they should think, how they should act, and of course, what they should buy. These purveyors of expectations often begin their assault with the words “I’ll be honest with you…”, also implying that normally they would be less than ingenuous. Critical thinkers take note!
But I just want to be myself…..
So what is authenticity? Without waxing too poetic, I’d suggest that it is an attribute that can only exist in the eye of the beholder. It really has nothing to do with ‘you being you’. So my advice is stop trying so hard. In fact, many would suggest if you have to try so hard at being something, you probably aren’t in the first place. As I’ve said many times before concerning ‘defying expectations‘, I think it’s more important we get on with life than spend so much time worrying about ‘what others think’.
Being ‘you’ should come naturally, if you don’t engage in acts of self-censorship and self-repression, or cowtow to the whims and expectations of others. The words of Dr. Seuss still ring true, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Lastly, if and when you are met with bogus claims of your being two-faced, it would be wise to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln who respsonded “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”
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PS. Thanks for reading. Are you worried about who you are and how others perceives you … or are you just really into yourself? Let me know by commenting below.
 Blogs that inspired this post:Brian Clark / Copyblogger: Why People Don’t Want the“Real” You
Todd Pillars: Why the talk about being Authentic all of a sudden?

Suggested Reading:

The Authenticity Hoax: Why the "Real" Things We Seek Don't Make Us Happy  All Marketers are Liars (with a New Preface): The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision 

4 thoughts on “It’s Me! Really! (and other notions of authenticity)

  1. […] For many, such situations are a daily phenomenon that ultimately lead to yet another blow to their self-esteem. Each daily interaction with others becomes a psychometric test of their self-worth, more often than not surrendering the same feeling of futility they have grown accustom to. Rather than questioning the value and certainty of the world around them, they seem hell-bent on devaluing themselves. […]

    Like

  2. […] For many, such situations are a daily phenomenon that ultimately lead to yet another blow to their self-esteem. Each daily interaction with others becomes a psychometric test of their self-worth, more often than not surrendering the same feeling of futility they have grown accustom to. Rather than questioning the value and certainty of the world around them, they seem hell-bent on devaluing themselves. […]

    Like

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