I love to look at beautiful things. I mean, who doesn’t? A gorgeous flower. A breath-taking sunset. A child’s face so precious it makes your heart flutter. The things of natural beauty in the world, they warm me and keep me wanting more.
But man-created beauty while equally addictive can sometimes have the opposite effect.
A friend with an in-shape body and perfect clothes and make-up to match. A house that looks like it’s out of a magazine with every nook and wall full of perfectly-chosen pieces. A friend’s Instagram feed so full of color and perfection, I can’t help but feel my life seems dull in comparison.
And that comparison eats at me even though I know the beauty I’m seeing isn’t necessarily real. Instead, it’s often a mask covering a mess. Yet I fall for it time and time again believing it’s reality. All the while I forget:
The world applauds beauty but needs authenticity.
And we need it because authenticity empowers us instead of drains us. Authenticity gives us energy to look forward instead of paralyzing to focus on what we don’t have. Authenticity makes others want to be authentic to who they are instead of trying to fake who they aren’t.
And THAT is powerful. And inspiring. And life-giving.
So here are SIX easy ways to inspire someone through your authenticity today.
- Stop doing one thing you do only to impress others.
It’s easy to unknowingly do something with your friends or coworkers that you would not normally do. Maybe you cuss with them because they cuss. Maybe you get your nails done because they do. Maybe you drink water when you really want a soda. Whatever it is, try doing something to honor a true part of you today.
- Don’t check your phone once during a conversation or get distracted.
Today while in a conversation, try your best to stay fully focused on the person in front of you. You may laugh and think, “I always do this.” But you’d be surprised how often people lean down to look at a text mid conversation or drift off even just for a second. Today, let the person in front of you feel your focus and care.
- Follow through on one promise that you keep putting off.
We often make quick promises in a second that we may or may not intend to keep. Sure, I’ll read that book. Or yes, I will look up that pair of shoes for you. But then we find the time slips away from us and we never get around to doing what we say we will. Today, complete one task for someone that you keep forgetting.
- Go out of your way to check on someone in the middle of a hard time.
Is there someone that you know is fighting a hard battle, but for some reason, you keep forgetting to check in? Maybe because you don’t feel you have the time to talk or maybe because you just don’t know what to say… Well today, take the time to do it anyway.
- Post a picture of your life on social media that doesn’t make you look good.
This is not a joke. I repeat. This is not a joke. If you are person who takes five photos before finding one that you absolutely love, try and post a photo that isn’t your best. Or try and post a moment that isn’t just sharing the best version of yourself. See if there is liberation that follows.
- Be vulnerable when you are tempted to put on a front.
At the sake of making yourself look better, have you ever found yourself hiding your true feelings? A friend says, “My business is really thriving this year.” And instead of telling her, you are struggling in yours, you just keep silent. Or someone says they are having a hard time in their marriage and you are feeling the same thing, but you don’t want to show any weakness. Today, look for an opportunity to be vulnerable when you’re tempted to do otherwise.
Can you think of more ways to be authentic? I would love to hear from you. Tag a friend that has a knack for authenticity with #myauthenticfriend.