Living Authentically By Dr. Joe Rubino

John’s dad scolded him constantly when he was growing up. He hides feelings of unworthiness and being not good enough. To conceal these thoughts, he projects himself as a know-it-all authority on almost every subject.

Sue was held back in second grade. She fears she is stupid and won’t be accepted because of this. To compensate, she becomes the class clown in an attempt to fit in and be liked.

Accidentally, Bill nearly killed his brother in a fight when he was six years old. He hides regular thoughts that he is evil and projects a saint-like character.

Linda was physically abused as a child and sees herself as worthless trash. To compensate, she takes on the role of the helper, unable to do enough for others.

Each of these people cannot embrace the images they hold of themselves. They pretend to be someone they are not and will do just about anything to avoid coming to terms with who they fear they are — which is sub-standard in some way. Of course, this is never who they actually are deep inside. Each simply has created a false concept about being inadequate in some manner. They have made up a story, which they have confused with the facts, causing them to view themselves in a less than empowering way. They’ve made up that they are defective, not good enough, or not worthy of being loved and accepted. Because they see some aspect of themselves as undesirable or flawed, they attempt to conceal their faults and be someone very different from their imperfect self-image. Essentially, they fear being rejected and not belonging. The act they portray is often an attempt to be accepted, to merit approval, to dominate a situation, or to avoid being controlled.

Each is living a lie, projecting a false façade by pretending to be someone they feel they are not, much like a bad actor portraying a movie character or a dishonest used-car salesperson trying to get someone to purchase a car they have no interest in buying. Their energy is wrapped up in pretending to be someone other than the person they think they are. We sense that they are hiding something and we are left with a feeling that the person is not being authentic. 

When you speak from the heart and your words and actions are compatible with your thoughts, others sense your genuine, attractive energy. Living authentically comes from closing the gap between who you are, what you do, and what you want others to get about you. Authenticity results when who you are is equal to what you are speaking. In contrast, when you project a facade that differs from what you think, others sense the disparity. When your speaking and being don’t match, it keeps you from being heard and decreases your personal effectiveness.

For example, have you ever invited someone to attend an event and he said he would try to come, but something in his manner told you he would not? You perceived the person caught in a lie as inauthentic.

Accessing your power means completing your past. It’s about loving yourself for who you are and not being afraid to let your guard down and allow others to love you. When your past no longer runs you, you can live with an authenticity that comes from being yourself.  You then have the freedom to focus on inventing your future as you reinvent yourself on purpose.

Exercise for Authenticity

1) In what respects are you living a lie? What qualities or thoughts about yourself are you reluctant to let others discover?

2) When was the earliest age that you recall feeling inadequate or not good enough in some way? What were the facts that actually happened, free of the internal interpretations you’ve carried? What story did you make up about being inadequate? Reinterpret what happened in a way that provides you with an empowering, positive interpretation of who you are.

3) Record your insights in your journal.

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