Do you believe it is truly okay to be yourself? Most of us would say, “Yes, of course I do!” But let me ask you, do you get the promotions at work you bust your ass for, have the financial resources you wish you had, and get the dates with the hotties you desire?
The fact remains most of us are not always okay with being ourselves and because of that we don’t get what we want.
- We believe that in order to secure a promotion or raise, we need to come across as being perfect, so we hide our flaws and mistakes.
- We believe by seeking the approval of others, we’ll get them to like us and we’ll get what we want, so we become a people pleaser.
We’re only on this spinning ball of dirt we call earth for a short period of time, and our journey should include living an authentic life!
For example, I have a friend that always speaks his mind. I often think he’s rude and obnoxious, and I’m not alone. If he doesn’t like the food he ordered, he calls the waitstaff over and tells them. If he doesn’t like someone, he tells them. If he doesn’t like something you did, he’ll tell you. It gets even worse when we’re out at the bar and he’s had a few cocktails.
You probably think he sounds like an ass, and I’m his one and only friend, but that’s not the case at all. While he is certainly prickly at times, he also has a lot of people who like and respect him. Why? Because he is himself at all times and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. He’s authentic.
If you want to live an authentic life – filled with job satisfaction, financial stability, happiness, and deep personal relationships – here are three things you can do right now to kick-start it:
1. Don’t hide your imperfections
You can be who you are, and also be liked at work, find love, and generally just enjoy life being nobody but yourself. We are all flawed in our own ways, and if we try and cover up those flaws and imperfections, people have nothing to connect with or relate to. We are attracted to other people’s imperfections.
As Tim Kreider wrote in the Times, “Anyone worth knowing is inevitably also going to be exasperating: making the same obvious mistakes over and over, dating imbeciles, endlessly relapsing into their dumb addictions and self-defeating habits, blind to their own hilarious flaws and blatant contradictions and fiercely devoted to whatever keeps them miserable.”
Don’t put up a facade of being perfect – just be sure to take responsibility for your imperfections and make amends when needed.
2. Tell the truth
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, Americans lie 11 times per week. Lying can cause a lot of stress in your life, which can contribute to anxiety and a whole host of other unpleasant side effects. By not lying about why you were late for a meeting, or making an excuse for why you failed to complete a task, you will find your relationships and social interactions will improve.
Don’t soften, twist, or shade – just tell the truth.
3. Do what feels right
Stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
Example: You want to speak up in a meeting because you have a differing viewpoint, one that you’re passionate about. You decide against it because it might ruffle feathers. You failed to do what felt right by not speaking up.
Example: You don’t have time for yet another project at work when your boss assigns you a new one. You agree to it because you want to appear eager or simply nice. You failed to do what felt right by agreeing to take on the work.
Don’t be afraid to do what feels right, no matter what the consequences are. Explaining truthfully (see #2) why you did something, people will have greater respect and appreciate you and will open doors in your career and life that are currently closed for you.
By implementing these three suggestions, you will immediately start to see a change in yourself and how other people interact with you.
4. How this relates to personal finance
The fact is we are all perfectly fine as we are, but we still need to continue growing as a person, pushing our boundaries. Once you learn to live with your mistakes and flaws on display, to tell the truth, and to do what feels right, only then are you truly okay being yourself. As that happens, and you live your life with authenticity, you’ll soon find you start to get what you’ve always desired from your job, your career, and your life, which all directly impact your finances.
photo credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Texas A&M