Can you pinpoint a moment in your life that changed the way you relate to and interact with people to this day?
When I was in elementary school, I lost a friendship close to my heart, and attributed this friendship loss to my weaknesses. Since that day, I have found it rather difficult to be completely me when I am around my friends. There were times when I was afraid of losing my friends if they see who I truly am – with my imperfections and weaknesses.
I was aware that this struggle was hindering me from bringing my friendships to deeper levels. That said, I am very close to my family and boyfriend because with them I feel the freedom to be myself – they know my weaknesses yet still accept me. But, I greatly desired to feel this sense of freedom with my friends too.
Starting last year, I took the courage to be vulnerable with my friends. I shared with my friends more of who I am. There were times, I took a step back, because I dared not get hurt from being vulnerable. The quote below rings true for me:
“What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” – Anna Quindlen
But, I never gave up. Recently, I took a step of courage to share with my close friend what I was really feeling while we were conversing with each other. In the past, I would have kept my thoughts to myself. That day, my decision to be authentic led to one of the most monumental moment in my life.
My friend really appreciated my honesty and we ended up going deeper in our friendship. She now knows more about me than she did. Had I not tell her my inner struggles, she would not have known the true me. I too came to know more about her than I did before. I now know that she treasures honesty and authenticity. I now know that she is a genuine friend who sincerely wanted to support me.
The quote below captures what authenticity means:
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen” – Brené Brown
I am on my journey on learning to be authentic in my relationships. I invite you to join me and many others on this challenging, yet rewarding journey. What are some challenges you face in being who you truly are? What steps do you think you can take to be authentic?
Note: I am currently in the process of reading ‘The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.’ written by Brené Brown. I recommend reading this book if you want to delve deeper into this topic.