Be Authentic- Things I Wish My Younger Self Knew- Lesson 8

identity, self, refection

Authentic means genuine- truly what something is said to be. 

Being who you were made to be is a beautiful thing. God did not make any mistakes. He knows who you are, loves you, and wants you to be you. His desire is for you to be your authentic self. Making no apologies or excuses, you are beautiful. You are special. You are important, and you matter.

In my eighth lesson to my younger self, I would like her to know that it is perfectly fine to be who you are- Who God meant for you to be. 

Be authentically you!

“That is what I love about you. You don’t change for anyone or anything. You don’t try to be someone else.”

Flashback to a high school conversation that has stuck with me for many years.  I remember those exact words as I apologized to my best friend for not wishing to follow the crowd. 

Throughout my childhood, I was quiet, shy, and often misunderstood.  But I had a strong will and knew what I wanted. If I did not want to do something, no one could sway me another way, including peer pressure. That made me lose some friends and sometimes left me lonely and excluded. 

But my best friend “got” me. She accepted me for who I was and did not put demands or expectations on me. She had no desire to change or force me to be someone I wasn’t. 

Be grateful for friends who celebrate the real you! 

She honored who I was and made me feel comfortable just to be myself. She celebrated me and saw my worthiness. Sometimes, finding people who genuinely accept you for who you are isn’t easy. 

Through the years, I have learned that it is okay just to be who I am. I don’t need to change for someone or put on a false presence to make others feel happy or comfortable. I can just be me, and it is enough. 

Find your people

You may feel you have spent too much time striving to please others rather than slowing down and looking within. As you do that, you will see that you are perfect just as you are. You carry a uniqueness.

As you navigate life, sometimes you may feel inclined to please others, but it should not be at the expense of yourself. You do not need to change to make others happy. If others pressure you to change or do things you do not want to do, then it is okay to release yourself from that bondage. Become who you were meant to be by learning to live for yourself. And find the people who will honor that in you.  

This is what I would say to my younger self.

Dear Younger Self, 

Be true to yourself. Be who you were made to be. 

Honor your experiences and the journey it took to get where you are.  

Your individuality is beautiful.

Walk through life with your convictions and integrity. 

Stand tall and be proud of who you are. 

Don’t change who you are for anyone.

Keep learning and growing into the best version of yourself. 

You make a difference in this world. 

Do not be swayed by what others want you to say or do. 

You are not going to be everyone’s person. 

There will be some who don’t care for you and some who don’t understand you. 

Be okay with the fact that not everyone will like you. 

It is impossible to please everyone. 

You don’t need to spend time trying to impress others. 

Find people who will celebrate you. 

Stand tall and be who God made you to be. 

Learn to honor your journey and embrace your uniqueness. 

Release yourself from the pressure to please others and

choose to live authentically. 

And my friend, I will say the same to you- Just be yourself!

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