In my previous blog I wrote about how moving to a new country had reminded me that I needed to be my own super hero and that being me was enough. As we focus on World Mental Health day and read and listen to the many people speaking up about mental health I’m reminded again that for a lot of people it isn’t always easy to feel that they are enough in their own right to know that their authentic self serves them best.
Strangely enough it can often feel overwhelming to just be “you”. Obsession with celebrity culture and social media pressures are just a few reasons that some people struggle to remain true to their authentic self. Facebook “friends” running into large numbers, followers on other social media applications, numbers of likes and retweets can be a real temptation to try to run with the pack to feel popular and socially successful and quite frankly trying to keep pace with others is most times mentally and emotionally exhausting.
As a modern day business woman and Mum to a teenage son I certainly don’t decry the appeal and usefulness of social media technology. As it stands here I am using one of those platforms to reach readers! However I do feel that when using these platforms it is easy to forget that for the most part one is either looking at the highlights reel of someone’s life or trying to filter out vast quantities of negativity reflected on social media!
So when there is so much being sold to us in terms of what is takes to be successful, admired and accepted how do we remain authentic people?
First off being authentic feels real and not contrived so learn to observe your natural state. Watch for a temptation to change when in a social environment to fit in, ask yourself why you feel the need to change a little to fit in with the group, what specifically has made you feel uncomfortable? If you feel yourself striving to be authentic then chances are you have already lost it to some degree.
If you remain true to yourself, your core beliefs and what you feel passionately about you will naturally be honouring an authentic life.
Take time out every day in this busy world we find ourselves in, personally I meditate and find it wonderful to ground myself, breathe and take stock of the day ahead. Meditating at the end of the day always services a great release of any pressures that have accumulated.
Finally if you do find yourself struggling, be it with something big or small then reach out! To a friend, family member, colleague or one of the many organisations qualified to help. People are generally kinder and more willing to help than we realise.