Authenticity and finding happiness by accepting myself

authenticity

There is a temptation we face when we meet new people to put on a mask.

Strangers are blank slates. Yet to witness our baggage or keep a record against us. It is all too easy for us to morph into someone we’ve always wished we were.

 

If you are of the obliging sort like me, when you meet someone new you will agree to almost anything.

I so hate making waves that I will bend over backwards just to keep the peace.

 

I will nod along to their every suggestion. I will eat whatever is placed before me. I will go wherever they want me to go and do whatever they want me to do.

 

I’m a puppet on a string with a clumsy, oblivious master.


 

But after awhile of this masquerade I begin to feel exhausted. Worn out from pushing myself to be an extrovert, an adventurous type or the kind of person who stays up past midnight on weeknights.

 

I get this icky, sticky feeling of something not being right. The uneasy, conflicting feeling of not being true to myself.

 

Authenticity it seems is a necessity for me. Much like a lack of oxygen, without it I am breathless. Like an absence of food, I get queasy in my stomach. Like the deprivation of sleep, I get sharp and unkind.


 

I have been out of town for the past couple of weeks and with the change in routine I’ve found myself withdrawing from my blog and social media.

I haven’t written at all since I left and it has made me feel smaller and less valuable.

 

Because writing is a part of my identity. The part that makes me feel most connected to the world around me. The part that allows me to create and add something rather than just taking all the time.

 

Without my blog to fall back on, I have felt dry and empty. And like a vicious cycle, the worse I feel the less inclined I am to write which in turn makes me feel less and less useful.

 

On the other hand, my absence from social media has been refreshing.

 

I hate uploading every part of my day on Instastories. I hate retweeting pointless things on my Twitter feed. I hate the edited, filtered, lack of spontaneity that I see all over Instagram.

 

It just isn’t me.

It doesn’t align with my values. It doesn’t fit my brand. It doesn’t fill me with joy.

 

And yet as a member of the millennial generation I don’t know how to escape it. As a struggling creative who is desperate to share her work, I don’t know how to avoid it.


 

Authenticity is an internal struggle. A fight to remain the truest version of ourselves when all around us we are tempted to fix our flaws, patch up our problems and become someone better.

 

I have discovered that a lack of authenticity breeds discontentment.

 

It fosters ideas that something is missing from our lives and if we just had that one thing, we would finally feel fulfilled.

If only we could lose that last 5 kgs. If only we had a wider social circle. If only we had a supportive partner. If only we had more time to pursue our passions.

 

But it’s just a mirage. Chasing after an ideal that we can never obtain.


 

The pursuit of authenticity leads to increased creativity, deeper relationships and an abundance of new ideas.

 

When I am being myself I feel happier. Because I don’t waste energy pursuing things that drain me. Because I use my time to write, create, bake, and share, to do the things which make me feel alive.

 

When I am being myself I find more pleasure in the company of others. Without the fear of judgement or pressure to perform I find I have more patience to listen to other’s stories and more compassion for them.

 

When I am being myself I feel more inspired. Because I take the time to notice things I might otherwise miss. Because I feel confident, secure and comfortable in my own skin which enables me to stretch out, take risks and explore new ideas.

 

Authenticity requires courage. Looking in the mirror and accepting myself as I am. Going out and facing the world without make up to hide behind. Speaking up and sharing my opinions even though I could get shut down.

 

authenticity, being yourself, accepting yourself, finding happiness, love yourself, just be you, self love, be authentic, be yourself

 

I’m a big fan of self improvement so I’m always looking for ways to extend and grow myself. I want to increase my productivity. I want to tap into my creative side more. I want to push myself to try new things.

 

But perhaps an even greater challenge is to grow into myself rather than trying to imitate someone else.

 

Maybe what I really need is to become more self aware and to live from a place of authenticity everyday.  

 

For me I think that looks like withdrawing in social settings because I am an introvert and being around people for too long makes me feel exhausted.

Or making the time to write because of all of my hobbies it is the one thing that makes me feel most alive.

Or not posting all the time on Instagram because it feels like a chore to me. And when I do, not being fussed that it makes my feed look scattered and unplanned because that is what real life looks like.

 

Authenticity is a daily practice of accepting who I am and finding new ways to allow myself to shine.

Because I have spent a lot of time trying to change myself but I’ve never been happier than when I was just being me.

 

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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8 Comments

  • Alyssa

    glad that you were able to disconnect from social media, i feel that’s so important. and in accepting who we are, we will definitely find authenticity. we will be able to step into our truest self. beautiful post. <3

    August 4, 2018 at 12:51 am Reply
    • Megan Hallier

      Absolutely. Being away from social media is just wonderful. It’s awesome to see you connecting to yourself and discovering who you are too.

      August 14, 2018 at 2:26 pm Reply
  • Claire B.

    The balance between trying to stay connected and sharing bits of life–versus planning and putting together this perfect image–is so so hard. I know that it’s something that I constantly struggle with myself. Personally, when it comes to social media, I’d rather see spontaneous pieces of everyday life as opposed to this perfectly curated collection of pictures. I would rather see things that I can empathize with and feel connected to. All that to say, keep doing you and marching to the beat of your own drum <3

    August 4, 2018 at 4:51 am Reply
    • Megan Hallier

      Such a struggle! I love that you are in the spontaneous, sporadic posting on social media camp like me. I always love looking at your pictures but perhaps it is because I know you too so I actually care.

      August 14, 2018 at 2:27 pm Reply
  • Caitlin

    You’re definitely not alone in feeling this way. In so many ways the structure of social media has lost it’s glow on so many levels. It leaves little room for interpretation and creativity. It’s a feeling of being in the middle of an ocean. I’m not totally sure about what the future looks like on Social Media, but I’m with you-writing is balm for the soul.

    August 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm Reply
    • Megan Hallier

      It’s sad to me how much of instagram in particular is planned and perfectly structured. It’s much more fun to see the behind the scenes and messy details, I guess that’s why everyone loves Insta-stories

      August 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm Reply
  • Emily Swanson

    Being happy as you, as the person God created you to be is one of the greatest, hardest journeys. I know exactly what you mean by feeling like you HAVE to update Twitter or post to FaceBook (for me), and it’s been freeing for me to be off of FaceBook for a while. It’s been freeing to not feel like I have to take pictures of all my food. When I do share I want to share from that place of authenticity, not pushing myself into some sort of mould. This was so good. Megan, I treasure your ability to write, to communicate things I would struggle to write or say. You have a gift for that, and it just flows out of you. It is sweet to see you bare your heart and soul to us and reveal what you’re thinking about being an introvert who loves to write, who loves and feels deeply, it truly is a blessing from God for me to read all of these things.

    August 9, 2018 at 10:06 am Reply
    • Megan Hallier

      I love that you have found peace in taking a break from social media too. It’s wonderful that you share whatever makes you happy rather than trying to be the same as everyone else. Thank you Emily, you are so sweet.

      August 14, 2018 at 2:31 pm Reply

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