A newfound sense of entitlement to be yourself!
Many of us feel an overwhelming sense to make and keep others happy. We try to stay within social constraints lest we be judged as awkward, weird or crazy. I've learnt a very important lesson throughout my short 2 decades of life and I was only happy to be reminded of this recently. The lesson is that you are entitled to be who you really are. As Steve Jobs once put it; you really start to live and embrace life when you let go of all expectations and dogma. When you realise that "you are already naked", when you realise that you can and should truly follow your heart and create your own path.
I find it completely ridiculous how quick people are to talk about authenticity. The same people who preach authenticity allow themselves to succumb to social pressures. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't and never have believed that being authentic and true to who you really are is a licence to be a jerk. Like those people who never really filter what they say, wreak havoc in other peoples lives by suppressing, oppressing and/or bullying and then claiming "that's just how I am, I tell it like it is!". No, you're just an ill-manered jerk who is insensitive enough not to realise that actions have consequences.
What I am talking about when I refer to authenticity and being true to yourself is a sense that at any point in time you are doing what is guided in you. Usually this means you are aware of the world around you and how it operates but you also have a deep, fundamental understanding of what really matters to you. I think authenticity is about allowing your inner values and drive guide you in your quest to live a life that you are proud of. I want to share a quote which I absolutely love, I think it captures the core of what an authentic life really means:
"For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." The curious case of Benjamin Button screenplay