This is a subject that I am almost obsessed with. What exactly does it mean? For me, it means acting on the outside how I feel on the inside. Or, one could say, being true to myself.
When I was just 14 and getting ready to go on my first ‘real’ date, a family friend gave me advice that stays with me decades later.
We were sitting in my backyard and I looked troubled. He asked me what was bothering me. I told him I was going on my first date with a boy I liked and I wasn’t sure how to act and how to be.
He simply said, “Be yourself. If you stay true to who you are, you will not have to worry about who you tried to be or who you tried to act like.” I took his advice. Then and since.
It was never my goal to have everyone like me. I never changed my behavior to please someone else. I understood that some people would want to be my friend because of my humor, personality and values, and some would not, for the very same reasons.
I think too many people worry about being liked. I think too many people tell others not what they feel, but what they think they should say.
I believe we are all special in many ways. We have different talents, different opinions and different ways of doing things.
Perhaps if we could learn to celebrate our differences instead of trying to be like everyone else, we would be more comfortable. After all, it is our differences that makes the world a more interesting place. Being authentic means being real.
My dad’s friend Bernie died many decades ago, yet to this day his advice to my teenage self gave me a lifetime lesson that has served me well.
Hopefully his advice will be something that has value to you, also.
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