One thing I learned is how serious the consequences are for not being yourself, now a days a lot of people (including me at one point) try to go through life pretending to be something that they’re not. What we never realize though is how that effects our relationships and self-esteem. A lot of us try to live life through someone else’s scope for a lot of reasons, maybe its fear of being judged for who you really are maybe its fear of being alone or not being accepted. You get so wrapped up in someone else’s thoughts and ideas until you forget your own. You let someone else dictate how you should act and feel instead of creating your own wave.
Sooner or later that crowd that you try so hard to fit in with and impress will recognize you as not being authentic and will either stop hanging with you or continue to hang with you but really not actually respect you. It’s fine I feel like we have all at some point been afraid or shy to really express ourselves fully because we obviously want to fit in.
But what we don’t realize is that its super important to be yourself, be authentic, be you. You will feel way better about yourself knowing that you are living YOUR truth authentically in this world. And you will find that people will respect that, and you will run into some real ones in life who appreciate that. I’ve learned to be authentic and not live my life based on what others want to see or to try to fit in with that group. Just remember if you have to alter yourself just to be told you can hang, then those people are not the friends that you need anyway. You’ll find being authentic will help you to form more meaningful lasting relationships as well because people catch on that you are genuine about the things that you do and want to be around you.
Next question I know is “Devonta how do you get to this point to where you are comfortable being yourself and able to live in your truth?”
So there are a few practices that I use to help myself get to this point.
Meditation: Before trying it I never thought meditation was a useful practice, I actually thought that whoever came up with the concept was a DAMN LIE!! Lol, but actually starting to practice it routinely I start to notice the effects. I normally practice deep controlled breathing while also repeating affirmations reminding myself that who I am in life is good enough. You can obviously come up with your own phrases but doing this combined with giving yourself positive affirmations is good because then you start to believe those truths and embrace them.
Affirmations: So, I touched on this a little in the first point, but I want to explain it more. Affirmations are a staple of positive self-talk, you create your own phrases that you want to tell yourself and you repeat these thoughts continuously, you don’t even have to meditate when you do them you can be driving or even working out and you can say them out loud or to yourself. You can say things like “I’m the best” or “I appreciate every quality about myself good or bad.” Those seem so simple but how the brain works is if you tell yourself something positive and reinforce negative thoughts with your affirmations your brain will start to naturally shift so when you have a negative experience instead of leaning into the negative your brain will generate more thoughts of positivity led by your affirmations. When you begin to tell yourself that your qualities good or bad are great then it becomes easier to lean into who you are and actually love that version of yourself more.
Write down things that you like about yourself and lean into those qualities: Take some paper or even do it on your phone and write down key qualities that you appreciate, if you don’t feel great about yourself and its harder to come up with multiple things try to write down at least one quality you appreciate about yourself. For example, if you consistently go out your way to help people in need list that. And lean into the fact that you are so selfless and kind and use that as a stepping stone to find more cool things about yourself that you wouldn’t have known if you didn’t start this process. Then when you find more things you can list, lean into those qualities and before you know it you fall in love with yourself.
These things do take time to develop and you may not see a shift right away, but I encourage anybody who is willing to try these practices to be consistent, if it’s hard to do all 3 just do 1 of these things until you can do more. What you’ll realize over time is that life gets weird (in a good way) you begin to get back to that point when you were 5 laughing and dancing like no one’s watching not caring about what anyone thinks. You begin to free yourself from what others say you should be and begin to settle into what YOU believe you should be. You begin to get back to that kid inside who wasn’t weighed down by society, people, or even your friends’ opinions and thoughts, back when you were authentic.
Please remember, shifting your mind from a long period of thinking one way is tough, I’m not saying you won’t have a break down every now and again when you try to shift your mind, but the key is to stay consistent and stay grounded no matter what you have to do, if you have to repeat affirmations all day, daily journaling, or even record some affirmations and play them on repeat like a new Drake album, LOL seriously though this is the process where you prioritize YOU you prioritize improving how YOU feel about YOU.
At the end of the day, we all just writing our own stories with the things we do in our daily lives. The question I want to ask whoever took the time to read this is “how do you want your story to end?” Do you want to be known as the person who lived life riding other people’s waves? Being carbon copies of other people and never using the gifts that God gave you to step into who you were designed to be an maximize your full potential? Or do you want to be known as the person who stayed true, never folded in to fit in, lived life the way you wanted to based on what you thought was cool? A person who was secure in who they were so much that they were willing to stand out, sacrifice 50 potential fake friends if that meant they could have 3 real friends by being Authentic?
It takes a strong person to stand tall and step into their real self. And if you are reading this, I know something about you, I know you are STRONG and I just want to tell you that you got this, your shift is coming just remember, stay true to yourself, and be authentic…..