Being real in a fake society is not easy. Let’s talk about the struggles of those who have found their true self.
Much of society today is shallow and fake. Celebrity magazines, news articles, and Facebook posts don’t show the truth. Instead, they show a glamorous façade.
Many of us are afraid of being real in this society. We feel pressure to put on a mask so that we can fit into a world with superficial values. We try to make ourselves attractive and we try to be perceived as successful and wealthy. We want others to think we have an exciting life full of travel, fine dining and extravagant parties. We surround ourselves with people as if the sheer number of friends we have is a mark of how valued we are. We moan and complain about how busy we are because this must be a sign of our importance.
Unfortunately, the cost of fitting into this world is stress, anxiety and even depression for some. When we don’t feel that our real selves are good enough we hide them and try harder to be the people that society seems to want us to be. We give up being real for the sake of being admired. But we lose touch with ourselves in the process. It is impossible to be happy if we don’t know who we are, what we desire and what will bring us joy. But finding these things out means being real and that can come at a cost.
We may lose our friends
Whenever we make changes in our lives, there will be those that get upset. People don’t generally like change – it makes them feel insecure. Your friends and family members may worry that you are endangering the relationships. You may also bring to light the fears that they have about not living an authentic life. People will try to dissuade you from being real. They want the security of you being as you have always been. But they cannot control you, no matter how much they want to. Those who truly love you and want the best for you will embrace the changes and support you in becoming your authentic self.
We may disappoint others
Often we embark on our plans for life with a desire to please others. We want our teacher’s, parents, grandparents and friends to feel happy and proud of us. Unfortunately, this can influence us too much and we can end up living someone else’s life instead of our own. When we finally decide we want to follow our own path, other may be disappointed in us. They may feel they have a right to have a say. They will argue that they have put a lot of their time, energy and even money into our lives and that this gives them a right to influence us. Perhaps our parents supported us through college, or we went into the family business and received training. We might be carrying on a family tradition or others may be relying on our income.
Rejecting these things may well disappoint those we love. Our loved ones may have our best interest at heart. They may fear that the changes we want to make might cause us discomfort. They may want us to feel safe and secure. But ultimately we only get one chance at this life and our life is our own to do with as we will. Of course, we need to be sensitive to others, and we must be responsible towards those who rely on us. But we can’t live our lives for others. Only we can decide whether the risk of discomfort is worth the chance to follow our own dreams and values.
We may feel lost and alone
One of the reasons we often try to fit in with societies values is so that we feel we belong. Being part of a group is important to us as human beings. Unfortunately, it can seem like there is no group where we feel we belong, but there is. Many people don’t want to live by the rules and values of society and have refused to do so. Historically, many people have tried to escape from a society where they could not be themselves, by leaving the country of their birth, moving to a cabin in the woods or just becoming reclusive. Luckily for us, it is easier to connect with like-minded people in our more connected society. There are people in the world who feel the same way you do. Search out the groups, books, and classes that interest you and you will soon find your tribe.
We may be laughed at and ridiculed
Choosing to be real means risking the disapproval and ridicule of others. People may laugh at us and our dreams. People may call us names. We might be accused of foolhardiness, laziness, lack of responsibility or living in cloud cuckoo land. Unfortunately, we have to accept that not everyone will like our choices. We can’t please all of the people all of the time. We should bear in mind that others may criticize because of their own fears. Perhaps deep down they know they are not being authentically who they are. Others may genuinely disagree with our values and beliefs. Either way, all we can do is simply try to please ourselves. Ultimately, if we are happy fulfilled and joyful, we will be better placed to help others than if we are depressed and sad.
Despite the costs of being real in today’s society, it is still worth the attempt. There are many benefits to thinking deeply about who we are and what we want our lives to be. We have a better chance at finding happiness and joy if we deeply explore the things that make us tick. We are more likely to be satisfied with our lives if we live them from our own values rather than forcing ourselves to fit into a mold that does not suit us. Being real can give us greater freedom to be our best, most creative and most joyful selves.
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