I’ve always admired people who stood their ground; people who knew what they wanted, did not want, and how to voice it.

I was like that, sort of. However, the responses to my awkward nature quickly taught me how to be less vocal. In result, I became less sure. I wanted so desperately to be real, to find confidence in the ways I’d seen others be. I attempted to combat my uncertainty with outbursts or jumping into things. I thought I was facing fear but, as I matured, I realized I was still operating out of it.

I didn’t think others would listen or assumed they would misunderstand me so I feared speaking. I’ve been fearful of being judged for not behaving a certain way. Then, I feared  being judged for what I’d force myself to do. I began shutting down as I became a wreck wreaking of anxiety and depression which only exacerbated my social awkwardness.

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I started noticing myself in others; that fear of being true. I judged them for that because of my own shame. I eventually learned from the Map of the Scale of Consciousness that shame, guilt, hate and anxiety were are derivatives of fear. Then I realized a pattern.

Growing up, quite a few people I tried to model myself after were operating in the same fashion as I was, they were just more smooth about it. They were often proud of their fear or trying mask it with outbursts, jumping into things or shutting down. I was mistaken in taking this for bold authenticity. I found that authenticity is actually on the other side of fear. Upon this realization, I decided to make a change – which was by no means an easy one.

The earliest stages of becoming self-aware were painful. Retrospection was cringe-worthy and the way in which I evolved was not received well by everyone. In fact, on the road to fearlessness – a road I still travel – I find that I’m constantly challenged on my ability to stand alone. Standing up to this test is how I discovered and redefined authenticity for myself:

Loving myself enough to fearlessly be true in each moment.

Namaste.