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Today, I feel an urge to call ‘bullsh*t’ on something that’s been bothering me for a while now:
The concept of ‘Authenticity.’
It’s a word that gets bandied around a hell of a lot in wellness circles these days.
“Just be your authentic self babe!”
“All we wanna see is your real authenticity!”
“She’s so fu*kin inauthentic.”
I know that for the most part, the intention behind this is well-meaning, but for some reason it really riles me up.
Because authenticity isn’t something you can just switch off willy-nilly.
It’s what’s left over when all your bullsh*t has melted away.
And that, my friend, is a process that takes time – years of it, and like all relationships, it ebbs and it flows.
One minute you’re feeling all ‘authentic’ and ‘you’ (which is to say, happy and a joy to be around).
The next, you’re right back to being a bullsh*t-ridden bitch.
(At least, I know I am).
Because I hear the word ‘authenticity’ so bloody often, it had started to lose all meaning to me, until a wise friend cut all the spiritual jargon and framed the idea in laymen’s terms:
“All authenticity really means is intending to prioritise what feels good to us over what looks good to others.”
That, I get.
So, when it comes to relationships, this take on authenticity makes it clear to me why so many of my past ones – both romantic and platonic were riddled with an alarming amount of bullshit – not love - actually.
That’s because I felt so low about myself that I put a heap of energy into showing my nearest and dearest who and what I thought they wanted to see:
‘Persia The High Achiever’.
‘Persia The Cool/ Popular Girl’.
‘Persia The Ridiculous Drama Queen.’
I could go on, but we’d be here all day, and you get my drift.
What they don’t often tell you in the spiritual/ wellness scene, is that lot’s of people aren’t going to like you, no matter how ‘authentically you’ you’re being.
Even if ‘being your authentic self’ means you’re always smiling, always generous, always considerate, I guarantee that someone will still regard you as a douche.
The idea that people are always more drawn to those who are fully being themselves is bogus.
We like them – sure – but only if that ‘authentic self’ doesn’t offend us in any way.
In my 31 years on Planet Earth, I’ve learned that when I’m being my ‘authentic self’, people either love it – or they fucking hate it.
There’s a reason we all work so hard to conceal who we really are – because we’re absolutely terrified of not being liked.
So, what’s the point of working so hard and going through so much shit to become more ‘authentically you’ when there’s no guarantee people will like you any more for doing so?
I’ll tell ya:
So that you no longer give a rat’s arse whether people like you or not.
So that you feel free from the exhausting effort required to constantly maintain a bullsh*t façade.
So that when people do like/ love you, it’s for YOU, not for your acting skills.
Now, in the words of the brilliant entrepreneur Marie Forleo: “Insight without action is meaningless.”
So, I’ve put together 5 tools below that I practice regularly myself to regulate my predisposition to bullsh*t.
These have led me to cultivate friendships and a wonderful relationship that really do feel genuine, uplifting and true to who I really am.
(Which sometimes means a loud, brash, impulsive, gossipy, attention-seeking nightmare – but one that my loved ones adore nonetheless).
If attracting more genuine connections and relationships is as important to you as it is to me, I encourage you to start incorporating the following into your life as much as possible – they really fuckin work:
1. Do What You Love
We spend the majority of our time on this earth doing things we feel obliged to do, rather than engaged in activities we love to do.
Write a list of 5-10 things that you truly enjoy doing – that make you lose track of time. Whether it’s going for a walk in nature (without your phone!), visiting a museum or gallery, or playing a musical instrument, I encourage you to schedule daily, weekly and monthly activities you love into your diary and commit to doing them. People who prioritise what they love are incredibly attractive to others who also do this (aka happy people).
2. Write To Yourself
In a world that seems to be more connected than ever, in reality, most of us feel way more disconnected than before all the technological advances of the last decade – mainly, from ourselves. How can we ever expect to connect authentically with others if we can’t even connect with us?
Try writing 3 ‘morning pages’ (on any size paper that works for you) as soon as you get up: just let your hand move freely across the page without editing or censoring yourself – you’ll be surprised by how much your subconscious has to teach you.
3. Analyse Your Relationships
Many of us spend too much of our time and energy on friendships or relationships that feel awkward, superficial or out of touch with who we really are and where we want to go in life.
Make a list of all your closest relationships and note down next to each how that relationship makes you feel - honestly. This is often a pretty revealing exercise, and whilst I’m not suggesting you should cut out people who don’t make you feel great, I am encouraging you to spend more time and effort with those that uplift you. This sends a signal to your subconscious (and the universe) that you’re open and available for more of these fun, supportive and affirming interactions.
4. Make Your Outsides Reflect Your Insides
I realised not so long ago that I’d spent a lot of my life dressing, behaving and even decorating my home as I thought others expected or wanted me to, rather than in a way that felt right and true for me. Was it any wonder my relationships often felt so fraudulent? By abandoning who I really was to gain other’s approval, I was constantly reinforcing that I wasn’t enough, just as I was – and neither were my choices.
Try this: set aside a day for a ‘spring clean’ of your wardrobe. Put on your favourite music as you try on each item of your clothing and ask yourself, “do I feel like me in this?” If the answer’s “yes” then keep it, and if it’s a “no” then toss it. You can do the same exercise when decorating your home, or even for deciding which hobbies and activities to invest your time in.
5. Let Your Imagination Be Your Guide
Our subconscious is extremely powerful and insightful; it knows who we really are and what would actually make us happy far more than our ego does. This is why I’m such a fan of visualisation meditation – because it encourages us to connect with our creative consciousness and move towards the people, places and things that will inspire and excite us the most.
Make it your goal to practice visualisation meditation for around five minutes a day (or as often as you can) to start finding out what really floats your boat. I guarantee that after a few weeks of practicing, you’ll begin to experience more coincidences and synchronicity in your life, as well as seeing your visualisations start to manifest in your reality.
(You can find some guided meditations here.)
Here’s to less bullsh*t-filled relationships all round ;)
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Have you spent a lot of time and energy in relationships presenting a version of yourself you thought others would approve of, rather than the real deal?
How did it make you feel?
Which of the 5 action steps above do you feel would be most beneficial to you and why?
Look forward to connecting with you in the comments below :)