Paying the Price of Being Authentically You

Authentic Black Woman

Authentic Black WomanThere are many people walking around us today who have no idea who they really are. They’ve spent their whole lives trying to be some thing, some body that would be acceptable to those around them. It all started for them when they were children and just as the real them was beginning to form and grow almost ready to emerge as the person that God intended for them to be in that moment, someone around them told them that some part of them was not good enough or was not normal enough. And so, because children are very amazing, adaptable beings. They begin to change. And before you know it changing to conform to what was acceptable or good to others had become a way of life for them. They do it for so long that one day, they wake up and realize that they have no idea who they are!

How do I know all this? Well because, up until about 4 years ago, that was me. A fear of rejection caused me to become an amazing chameleon. Able to fit in and be who those around me expected or wanted me to be. Because I felt the sting of rejection as a child, I was willing to do just about anything to avoid feeling it again. Most everyone has dealt with a fear in their lives. Some very common ones are a fear of rejection, a fear of failing, a fear of being alone, a fear of not having money, a fear of success, or a fear of being too exposed or transparent. If you identify what your fear is, you can probably look back over your life and see how it has caused you to be different than you really want to be. Different than you were meant to be. For years I would envision myself a certain way but I was too afraid to really be that person because I didn’t want to lose the people who were in my life. I mean, after all they seemed to accept and love me that way and at that time that was all I was looking for.

But, regardless of how much I feared the rejection of those around me, there was this aching inside of me that wouldn’t quit. That aching lead me to begin seeking a better way. As my search grew stronger, as I read more, learned more, wrote more, I begin to change. I started to become more of ME. But, it wasn’t easy and, there was a price to pay! People who I just knew were with me for life starting dropping off. Apparently, they couldn’t handle the new me. She was too spiritual and had too many grand ideas about what she wanted to achieve and she made them uncomfortable because accepting the her would mean they would have to consider making changes too. Many of them left me devastated and I questioned whether it was even worth it all. I ended up experiencing the very thing I feared the most, rejection, but still, I kept seeking. Through what I believe was divine intervention, I begin to meet people who would mentor me and teach me and coach me. And for the first time, I not only begin to know the real me, but I accepted her and I wanted to know more about her.

Today, I’m constantly checking in with myself to make sure that the things that I’m doing and saying are authentic. Every once in a while the answer is no because I’ve fallen back into my old habit of conforming and people pleasing. When that happens, I know that it’s time for me to change some things up, maybe even let some things or people go. And guess what, I’m totally ok with that.

I want to encourage you today to be authentically you in all that you do. Look at individual areas of your life and ask yourself are you being totally honest and showing up as who you really want to be in that area. If the answer is yes, great, but if it’s no, change some things up until the true you is represented in all areas of your life. Don’t be embarrassed to get help from a coach or find yourself a mentor. When it’s all said and done, becoming who you were meant to be may mean paying the price of facing the very thing that you feared the most. But believe me, having the courage to be who you want to be, live where you want to live, say what you want to say…is worth the cost!


Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles)

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