Enough Acting: Embrace Your Vulnerability
I’m sick of all the acting that I (and the rest of humanity) do. I’m sick of the shells that we put up. I’m sick of the pretending, the posturing, and the placating. I’m sick of people hiding from who they really are and what they really feel because of what other people may think of them. I’m guilty of all this, and more. We all are. It’s high time that we stopped pretending to be someone and to just start being real again. And pretending to be real doesn’t count. No, being real, being true to ourselves, and being authentic is the only real way to be real. No pretending. No pretension. No thinking about what others will think of you. Just 100% pure, unstifled expression from your heart, all the time. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not real all the time – I’m not perfect, but I could certainly do better on being real. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that, even though I place such importance on being true to myself, I let myself be fake very often? Barely anyone that I know in real life knows that I write here. Why? Because I’m afraid – and I know – that if my secret identity as self development blogger were to be revealed, I’d be made fun of relentlessly. Ideally – I wouldn’t be afraid of it. I wouldn’t care what they think. And yet, I do. Why? I don’t know. But that’s a big strike against my personal sense of authenticity, you know? More to the point, sometimes I act against myself in other ways. I am guilty of a lot of self-censorship – I don’t speak up when I should and sometimes I don’t tell the truth because it might hurt someone else. Sometimes I say things without thinking. Sometimes I treat people badly. I act differently around different people to gain their approval – I do it all the time. Sometimes I am woefully unproductive – ironic for a person who writes about productivity, right? I could give you guys an entire laundry list of my flaws, but I think I’ve already proven my point. Why do I do all of these things? Why do I act against what I know is the right thing to do and cut myself short? Why am I not always genuine? I’m afraid. Afraid of getting hurt. We all are.
Start Being Vulnerable My plea to you is to drop all the roles you play and start being yourself for once. Stop acting in roles given to you by other people and start playing yourself. The one way to do that – be vulnerable. Wear your heart on your sleeve. Be yourself unabashedly and without shame and let others be able to tell exactly who you are before you even open your mouth. And, most of all, be willing to embrace your weaknesses and get hurt by them. Be willing to put your personality on the line at any time and pay the price for it. This might be by getting rejected by some girl or guy you’ve had your eye on, or by not getting a job that you really wanted. But as long as you’re allowing yourself to be you and not some carefully controlled version of you, you’re doing the right thing. I realize I’m being very ambiguous, but that’s the point. This acting that we do is so pervasive in every single part of our lives. And it needs to stop. Stop putting up the shells that prevent you from getting hurt. Stop doing things to impress people. Stop hiding in the corner and hope no one notices you. All these things do nothing but hurt you, because they prevent your light, the energy that is uniquely you, from shining and inspiring other people. It takes so much courage to do this. And yes, you will be hurt, you will cry, you will suffer, and you will wish that you never read this post and listened to me in the first place. But you will also be rewarded. When I’ve been at my most genuine and been working my hardest to do so, life has been the best for me, even though I went through a few rough patches along the way. And you know what? I – we – shouldn’t be scared of getting hurt. Everything passes by eventually. Remember that – you can always say to yourself, “This too shall pass.” Plus, I’m in this life to experience everything that life has to offer. Whether that’s pain or pleasure – I want to feel it. I want to feel it deeply, just so I can experience the widest range of emotions possible. Even if life brings me to my knees, that’s acceptable – as long as it was a consequence of me being myself, without restraint. You, as you are, are enough. Right here, right now. So why are you only offering a carefully selected part of yourself – the part that you think will make people like you – to the world? You have nothing to be afraid of. The world cannot take away your happiness or what makes you you. It needs your permission first. And getting hurt doesn’t mean that you’ll have to lose those things. So be vulnerable. Live as yourself, not as a copy of someone else. Be okay with your flaws. Show this world your whole self – because there’s no one just like you. No one. And, even though you’ll go through cycles of amazing victories and horrible defeats, you will come out on top – because your reward will be a life that was fully lived.