Why Do We Struggle with Being Authentic?
Have you ever struggled with being honest with yourself? And wondered why is it so hard for me to be vulnerable and real? Chances are you are not alone. Many of us struggle with showing the world our real selves (me included) for fear of being criticized or judged. For fear of not being liked or even outcasted from circles of friends.
If you work in any kind of team setting chances are you’ve already taken a Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, or HSP personality test to determine where you fall in the spectrum of being a team player or coachable. How we perceive and receive information is vital in how we respond and grow.
Knowing who we are helps us to be the truest version of ourselves and not try to be something we’re not. Most recently I’ve taken the Myer-Briggs test and discovered I’m an ENFJ which means I’m an extrovert, I’m intuitive, I process things through feelings and I have good judgement.
I actually scored very low on the extrovert making me closer to an introvert than I realized. I get recharged by retreating to a quiet place by myself instead of throwing myself into a big crowd of people.
On the Enneagram I’m a 1 with a 2 wing. And on the Highly Sensitive Person test I scored a 13, meaning a process information at a higher degree of emotion than others.
To not know who you really are, is a lonely place to be. Chances are if there is a struggle in your life, maybe your struggle isn’t about what you’re really struggling with but a deeper conflict of denying your own self in how God made you.
Why Do We Struggle With Being Authentic?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of authentic is: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
Ask yourself these questions.
Do you allow others to see your real self? Do you allow them to see not just the good parts about you, but the broken pieces, flaws and everything in between?
Are you a ‘doer’? Meaning do you play the role of a ‘fixer’ and try to ‘do’ compassion for others by doing things for them, or can you just ‘be’ compassion for a friend?
Are you a chameleon and try to blend in a crowd (depending who’s there) or do you let your real personality come through no matter what situation you’re in?
Do you allow anyone to see your emotions when you’re happy, sad, frustrated or annoyed? Or do you only share emotions with certain people you consider safe?
Chances are many of us are afraid to show our real selves for fear of not being accepted or wanted by anyone.Click To Tweet
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. They are merely to probe a deeper response to ‘why’ do we do what we do?
Sadly I think many of us adapt our personalities depending on our situations, to conform to the worldly ‘normal’ of what’s acceptable. We deny who we are at the cost of fitting in.
We struggle with being authentic because……….
We don’t give ourselves the liberty to be honest and real. When are busy being busy, we’re not able to sit and peel back the layers of what really lies beneath. When we do we’ll be surprised to find there is a lot of good stuff under all those layers! There is nothing under those layers God can’t mend!
We become human ‘doers’ instead human ‘beings.’ When we ‘do’ love instead of ‘being’ love, we become the rescuers and Saviors, two roles that are meant for Jesus, not us. When we become love, we become a vessel for God’s love showing others the love that could only come from Jesus.
We hide our brokenness, keep our flaws hidden. When we protect our flaws from being seen and not allow them to be brought into the light, we deny the essence of who we are, broken. I’m not saying stand on a stage with a megaphone and shout to the world all of of your ugly secrets. What I am saying is exercise wisdom by having people of accountability in your life that can help be a voice of wisdom. Someone you can share your junk with who can pray for you and keep you straight.
To hide our brokenness is to hide Jesus.
Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross in secret. He died on the cross for all the world to see to let them know salvation is a FREE gift for EVERYONE.
To deny our brokenness is to deny Jesus.
We can never be authentic or live in God’s original design in our lives when we aren’t able to be honest with ourselves.
Do you know your TRUE self?
Do you feel like you have the FREEDOM to live how God created you? Why or Why not?
Do you struggle with being authentic?
How can you be more authentic today?
If you struggle with being who you are, try taking a personality test. Try writing a letter to yourself, telling yourself it’s okay to be you. Write down your personality traits. Which ones do you allow others to see? Which ones do you hide and ask why do you hide these traits?
Or find an accountability partner, a wise mentor, or a life coach to help in your journey in getting back to your TRUE self. Start journaling and seeking God in prayer of what He desires for you.When we deny who we are in how God made us we are missing out on God's original design and purpose in our lives. Click To Tweet
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:12
Praise God, when we embrace God’s purpose for us, we will always be able to live in our most authentic selves.
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I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below.
Such an insightful post that‘s quite thought provoking. Thanks for sharing and bringing light to this area.
Thank you Heather, this was encouraging!
When I see people who have not been accepted or wanted by anyone, those are the people who are afraid to open up, because they have been hurt so many times. The problem is that most people are relationship -deficient. People who have friends don’t want any more because they don’t have time even for the people they already love. So they don’t reach out. And those who are broken don’t want to reach out to other broken people. If they loved someone that others weren’t loving, they would be loved so much more deeply than if they were to choose someone who already has no time for others.
You are so right Susan!
Growing up with a narcissist father, I was a mess when I surrendered to Jesus. My dad’s manipulation of me left me not knowing who I was. Jesus has done such a deep work in me. I think we all have times when we retreat into ourselves. But you are right, when someone doesn’t know who they really are, it is like torment!