Why Bother Removing Our Personas?

Why Bother Removing Our Personas?

Being authentic with others begins with being authentic with ourselves. When we falsify our true identity, it becomes so habitual that eventually we end up concealing who we truly are, even to ourselves. 

But letting go of this false and familiar front might feel risky. The masks we wear around one another become our protective shields and keep our tender and vulnerable self from getting hurt. Yet in essence, masquerading only hides our original self. 

Maybe we’ve tried once or twice before to let go of our persona, but the results were not very pretty. Instead of being applauded for our truthfulness and authenticity, we were instead rejected, mocked and maybe even ostracized.  

But dropping our personas takes practice and the more we practice the more courage we gain so as to live our authentic selves. And living authentically is a much better way to live than living as a fake. 

        Courage

I once heard that courage is not the absence of fear, but feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I believe courage is a main component which allows us to live our unique and original lives. To think that a false persona can shield us from emotional bumps and bruises, broken promises, or wrecked relationships is an erroneous idea. None of us are exempt from being hurt by another.  Wearing a false persona only shuts others out and then we miss out on receiving anything  good they may have wanted to give us. Emotionally connecting with others begins with letting them see who we truly are. 

Face to face, in the absence of fabricating our identity, we become emotionally accessible, friendly, and defenseless. Yet this does not guarantee that others will be as honest and real as we are.  Though I may be willing to drop my guard, they may be unwilling or unable to do the same. But when I speak and live in an unguarded manner, others may be inspired to be who they are as well.  

Why bother removing our personas?  It is worth it to be our true and original selves since there is only one original of us. 

Why Bother to Say, “No.”

Why Bother To Say “No”?

No, is a very powerful two letter word. It is easy to form the single syllable word on our tongues, but it is not always easy to say.  And though most everyone understands the meaning of this word, not everyone likes to hear it. 

This one little word differentiates ourselves from others, establishes personal boundaries, and sets individualized limits. Whether we say it with kindness, or firmness, this word alters lives.

Dare I Tell You No?

Even though not everyone likes to hear this word or saying it may be difficult for some, eliminating no from our vocabulary would lead to physical and mental burn out, a build up of resentments and living contrary to our values. Saying no when we cannot do something, or do not want to do something is paramount to living well. 

Like a good massage, telling someone no is one way of taking care of ourselves. And contrary to what some may think, taking care of ourselves is not a selfish act. It is a necessity. If we cannot tell someone no when we need to, then how genuine is our yes? 

Consider this scenario the next time you know you should say no, but you guilt yourself into saying yes. If you were on an airplane and the oxygen masks dropped out of their compartments because of an emergency, would you put your mask on first or help your seatmate put theirs on? If you think it would be the right, kind and compassionate way to help your seatmate first, think again. How can you help someone else breathe when you are unable to? 

We do not have to complicate or elaborate on our no. We do not have to apologize for it either. We can refuse a request, an invitation or someone else’s opinion in kindness while staying truthful with them. We don’t owe an explanation and we don’t need to say we are sorry. 

I don’t have a hard time saying no, but sometimes I am too quick with it. Understanding why we don’t want to do something is important. Am I setting a healthy boundary for myself, or am I just afraid of saying yes?

Not too long ago, we had a landline for a telephone. Then my husband suggested we purchase flip phones and eliminate the land line. I went along and agreed with him on purchasing flip phones and eliminating our land line. But, when he mentioned buying IPhones, I immediately said, “No way!” 

But my husband, who knows me well, was not deterred by my reaction. Instead, invited me to go out to my preferred restaurant for breakfast, my favorite meal. Over omelets and coffee he systematically laid out the reasons we should switch from flip phones to IPhones. I listened and his reasoning softened my, “no way!” He understood my fear of change and convinced me that together, we could learn how to use them. 

Why bother to say “no”? When we find our true no, we will also find our true yes. 

Why Bother With Authenticity?

Why Bother With Authenticity?

Back in the 1960s there was a game show called, “To Tell The Truth.” Three contestants, all claiming to be the same person, attempted fooling a panel of four celebrities into believing they were the real McCoy and not the impostor.  The panel of four, peppered the panel of three, with questions attempting to sift out the impostor and identify the bona fide individual. Then the celebrities cast their vote, stating which contestant they believed held the authentic identity of the person claiming to possess the unusual or distinguishing talent.  Not until the very end, when the host said, “Will the real _____________please stand up,” did anyone know for sure which individual was the official inventor, professor, or person possessing the extraordinary ability. Oftentimes, the panel of celebrities were surprised they could be duped so easily. 

To Dupe or Not To Dupe

Being honest with others begins with being honest with ourselves and being truthful with ourselves takes not only time and wherewithal, but also a motive. What incentive moves me from being an impostor to being authentic with myself and with others? What is the payoff for being the true to life person that I am? Is it more profitable to be genuine or disingenuous? 

While growing up, I naturally noticed others around me. My brother Bruce was the most carefree and adventurous of my siblings. I wanted to be him. Then there was Cynthia who was groovy and organic. I wanted to be her. Diane was creative while Beth personified sophistication. I wanted to be them. In short, I wanted to be someone other than me.  

During my high school days, Twiggy was a featured model in a magazine that I read called Seventeen. I tried hard to look like her. Then while raising and homeschooling my three sons, I aspired to emulate other mothers whose pictures and stories appeared in homeschooling magazines. They appeared intelligent and confident. Again, I wanted to be them, not me. But, I wasn’t any of the above mentioned individuals and attempting to match my stride to someone else’s only proved to be a strenuous and clumsy walk for me. 

One of the incentives that moved me away from  bamboozling myself and others was the amount of energy it took for me to be someone other than I was. Somewhere along the line I had an epiphany: why push myself into being something other than I was? Why not stop and shed the falsehoods? The questions I asked myself put me on a track of truthfulness where I found an acceptable stride for myself.

Why bother with authenticity? It is worth shedding falsehoods. Authentic people are reliable, dependable, credible and realistic. The real McCoys won’t try to dupe you.