The word ‘Authenticity’ and the phrase ‘Be Your Authentic Self’ have become extremely popularized in recent times in a world which is supercharged by intolerance. Intolerance is a significant impediment to Authenticity.
In our day to day existence, we are faced with the dilemma of either being honest about who we are and possibly risk ostracism and isolation, or being forced to pretend to be ‘someone else’ or ‘something else’ to gain acceptance, or to avoid discrimination. This dilemma arises in response to perceived, and often times real, societal norms and expectations that dictate how we should look, behave, or even dream!
The dissonance that results from this disconnect has had untold negative impacts on the affected individuals for generations. The different coping mechanisms adopted by individuals in response sometimes compound the situation, often leading to tragic outcomes.
When we are intolerant of others based on how they are different than we consider ourselves to be, this discourages authenticity. When we deny others the freedom and opportunity they deserve to express their individuality and all that this entails, this inhibits authenticity.
In fact, I believe when we take the stance that our personal characteristics, circumstances, backgrounds or experiences make us in any way superior to others, we are being arrogant, self-righteous, narrow-minded and disrespectful.
Authenticity in its real sense removes the clutter from our psyche and provides the clarity of purpose that unleashes the power within us to accomplish our dreams, regardless of how ‘different’ they happen to be.