I recently went through a personal challenge in my life that tested my authenticity. Most people, when they think of “keeping it real” or “being real”, they tend to refer to how they conduct themselves or how they behave. I did too. Whenever I would talk about being authentic I would always go to being able to tell your story and live out loud. And while this is true, it is an incomplete depiction of what this over-used phrase means. True authenticity isn’t just “doing you”, it’s about doing what you believe. It’s about living what you believe.

I have to admit, it’s not easy to hold true to your authenticity at times when you look at it from this vantage point. As I mentioned, I was tested in the area of my relationships with a few people. I had an expectation of how I wanted to be treated and that expectation didn’t line up with their behavior. Has that ever happened to anyone? One of the biggest mistakes one can make in a relationship is holding other people to your set of beliefs. Disappointment will happen every time. I was hurt and angry because I felt rejected and let down. I was faced with a choice right then and there…

Was I going to revert to their set of beliefs and behaviors and compromise my authenticity or was I going to remain true to who I was and what I stand for? For about 2 days I pondered this question, and ultimately chose to stand firm in my beliefs and how I think people should be treated. I know it temporarily feels good to get revenge on people and do to them what they do to us, but that never lasts. It’s not worth it. Self-vindication is not the way to do that. What’s that look like in real life? When someone doesn’t speak, you speak. When someone doesn’t acknowledge when something important happens in your life; for example, a birthday, you be sure to acknowledge theirs. Never base your actions on how another behaves. Be true to yourself, stand firm in your beliefs, and treat people how you’d like to be treated; not how they treat you.

 

 

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