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It's Not Easy to Be Yourself - Do it Anyway



Living as your authentic self is hard. But not as hard as being fake.


For some of us growing up, we felt like it was never really safe to be ourselves. We felt like outcasts, like we were unwanted.


Maybe you grew up with narcissistic parents like I did, or maybe you were ashamed of a mental health diagnosis, being LGBTQ+, poor, homeless, fat, skinny, wearing glasses, or something else.


Whatever the reason, you felt like you didn't belong or didn't fit. When you began to sense this or be told this, you started to hide. In Autism they call it masking. But anyone can mask their true self.


I feel too much, think too deeply, love too intensely, I'm pansexual, I'm mentally ill, and I'm a nerd. I wanted to be pretty and popular so people would like me. So I changed to please others.


The problem is, when people only like a fake version of you, when they only like the mask, you get stuck playing that role. Stuck being something that you're not. You start to feel hollow inside, like you have no substance.


Starting to live authentically and taking off the mask is hard at first. A lot of people will reject you. You might lose jobs, relationships, or social acceptance. It might feel like you have lost everything.


But you have found the most important thing: yourself. And YOU are the only person that you are going to spend 100% of your time with for the rest of your life. That's why being your true self makes life easier.


You realize that you can meet new people, find a new job, and create a circle of meaningful relationships. There may be less people who like the real you, but the people who do are gold. They will be with you through thick and thin.


It may take some time to rebuild your new life, and it might be hard for a while. But it does get easier.


You might think it is easier to keep wearing the mask not to shake things up. The thing is, though, if you keep the mask on it doesn't get easier. At some point, it actually starts to get harder. That's when you truly know it's time to take it off.

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