Authentic Self Unmasked: Why Women Struggle to Be Authentic

Dr. Fazeeda RahmanDiscussion, GeneralLeave a Comment

Being our authentic self can mean walking in our truth, expressing ourselves as we really think, and doing things true to our nature. This can include allowing aspects of our core self to come to the surface, such that it is seen and known by others. Expressing our true self can be a challenge for those of us that want to please others and avoid conflict. We may put on a mask that shows what we think others expect to see of us. While we may be well intended, our actions to please others may create more problems for us than benefits. Fear of hurting others or fear of being rejected may get in the way and make sharing our true thoughts and feelings difficult. Afterwards, we may end up feeling disappointment and regret that we didn’t say or do what we should have said or done. If we aren’t careful, we may repeat the cycle of putting on a mask in which we pretend to think or feel a way that is not true.

A Masked Self Unveiled

Being untrue to ourselves has many negative including feeling overly stressed and unhappy. Pretending to not feel can cause us to detach from ourselves and others. In order to fully experience the joys that life has to offer, we must allow ourselves to connect to the different experiences we encounter. When we do allow ourselves to feel and express our sincere feelings, we can function more authentically, without the need for a mask that covers our emotions or thoughts.

As the Spring season nears its return, many of us who love the beauty and warmth the season brings welcome its approach. Changes the Spring season brings can be likened to the changes regarding unveiling our true selves. In the spring time, we may venture outside more and take off some of our layers, which allows us to become more visible. We shed our clothing to allow what underlies the layers to be seen. We go from wearing thick, dark, and heavy clothing to lighter and maybe brighter clothing. Not only can our clothing be lighter, but our mood as well. This change process in essence is like taking off the mask we use to cover our self, so that what underlies the mask can be seen. When we take off our masks, our real self can be seen rather than the pretend self.  

Connecting with the Authentic Self

To connect with our authentic selves, we must be in touch with who we are and express that self in interactions with others. Learning our interests, desires, and what we want to put out and receive in the world is important so that we are better in sync with ourselves. Being in sync with ourselves can help us to better communicate what our real thoughts and feelings are and help us function more in line with our values and goals. Connecting with ourselves as well as connecting with others can help us to become more in line with what our purpose is. And as we aim to live out our purpose, without fear of disappointing others or being seen as something other than who we are, we can live as our authentic selves.

Living authentically allows room for changes that need to happen as we evolve as individuals. If we desire to live true to ourselves and live an authentic life, we must continually be learning about ourselves, assessing our beliefs, changing those beliefs if needed, and working through baggage that hinders our growth. When we do so, we can learn to face fears and doubts, learn what uplifts our heart, and learn what helps our spirit to soar. Then can we feel most alive and free — to live courageously from this true place within.

Suggestions to Help You Connect

Consider the following to help you connect to your authentic self:

  • what is important to me?
  • what are my values?
  • how can I honor my needs more fully?
  • what boundaries do I need to set and follow?
  • what do I need to communicate to others?

We want to hear your thoughts on being your authentic self. Do you feel you are living as your authentic self? If not, why? What holds you back from doing so? What might you need to change to better connect to your true self and better express that self to others? Share your thoughts below. If you want to learn more about this topic, join us for our next poetry event March 20, 2021. We will be sharing poems related to being our authentic selves and will also share exercises and activities to help you better connect to your authentic self. Join us.

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