Lately I’ve been thinking about how challenging and rewarding it can feel to show up authentically. Being authentic is also my intention for this year, so it is on my mind quite a bit. My desire is to be able to show up authentically as often as I can. And I think I do a pretty good job of it. Putting myself out there like this definitely pushes my comfort zone. It often makes me feel vulnerable and sometimes a little unsafe, as I share the truth of who I am out into the world.
The other day, out on my run, I had a profound realization.
There are times when I am carrying baggage along with how I show up authentically. BAM! Even though I am choosing to show up in my truth, behind it can be feelings of shame, guilt or fear that I will be unfairly judged for being who I am. As I began to process this, I realized that if I’m going to choose to show up authentically, I want to show up unapologetically as well.
I realize this is not necessarily an easy path.
We live in a world where there are social constructs around our roles, gender, sexuality and spiritual ideology. There are “rights” and “wrongs” as defined by the general consensus. Stories, ideals and convictions are passed down from generation to generation conditioning us to believe certain truths about ourselves and about others. At times, opinions about who is a “good” or “bad” person are solely based on these notions. And judgments can be made simply because others don’t have the same beliefs.
When we start to push against the edges of these beliefs, while showing up authentically, we may still find that we are comparing ourselves and our actions against these deeply rooted stories.
I don’t want to carry this weight with me as I move along this path.
I don’t want these old, worn out stories to keep me from fully stepping into who I am. I want to own all my experiences and choices unapologetically. To do this, I’m intending to stop offering explanations for who I am, what I’m doing or what I believe. I’m going to allow myself the opportunity to make space for this shifting way of being, knowing that it is not about perfection.
I know that anytime I try to change or shift a habit, I will likely bump up against repeating old patterns. By understanding that the baggage I’m carrying around with me in these moments of authenticity doesn’t support me owning my experience fully, I can stay in a state of awareness. When I find myself repeating the old narrative, I can shift from carrying that weight to letting it go.
This will be a continuous work in process for now.
But I don’t want to do it any other way. I don’t want to show up half way. I don’t want to just dip my toes in the water of what it means to truly be authentic. I’m tired of the pressure to fit into the social norms. I’m exhausted by the self-rejection and judgment that comes along as I compare myself to what others feel is right or wrong.
Perhaps you are just now realizing this as well. There are many of us that are doing a great job stepping into our truth. To me, living unapologetically just takes authenticity to the next level. It takes us to a deeper place of knowing and being who we are.
It’s important that we honor our individual journeys here.
As I look at the decisions and choices I make and the information that I openly share, I realize that no one can define my journey but me. And if I am going to do that, then I am really going to own it. And I am going to be unapologetic about it from now on.
I invite you to start to think about what you are doing or what choices you are making that push up against the social constructs and norms. Observe how it makes you feel when you do this. Are you feeling shame or guilt? Or are you hesitant to step fully into your power because it’s scary? Can you be open to the possibility that you can choose your path no matter what anyone thinks?
If this resonates with you, I encourage to you repeat after me, “I own (fill in the blank) 100%, no apologies.” And then every time you start to slip back into the old narrative around that topic, remind yourself that you are choosing to own it. Unapologetically.