Not Being You Will Destroy You

“Personal incongruency is what causes so much of our pain.” –Tim Denning

There are lots of reasons you probably aren’t “you.”

Maybe it’s fear.

Fear of what people will say, fear of rejection if they knew the truth. If people knew who you really were, would they be angry? Would they leave?

Or maybe it’s unresolved inner conflict.

You want to be yourself, but you just can’t. You keep falling into bad behaviors and negative thought patterns you know are bad for you.

Maybe it’s even pride.

You like looking like someone who “always has it together.” You’ve built an image of an intelligent, sophisticated, put-together individual that doesn’t need help.

Maybe it’s just because you don’t even know who you really are in the first place.

Whatever the reason, if you’re not being “you”…

You’re destroying yourself.

The Courage to Offend

“If you want to do unique, contributive work and develop your voice, you must have the courage to offend.” -Todd Henry

Willingness to offend is rare these days.

And I’m not talking about being a douchebag, saying hurtful things just to say them. I’m referring to the ability to speak your mind and be true to your values and your ideals, regardless of what anyone thinks.

This is a problem in several key areas (and some not so key).

The key areas include things like your spiritual beliefs, political ideals, and perspectives on society. Non-key roles might be your take on a sports team, or whether or not a movie was good or bad.

Both are opportunities to be more yourself.

People are afraid to offend. But if you want to develop who you really are underneath it all, you can’t be afraid.

One obvious example is the many folks in the conservative and Christian camps. Their political and spiritual beliefs may not align with what others declare, most popularly on the abortion and gay marriage debates. These beliefs are unpopular, and some hide this fact so intensely it borders on obsession.

They don’t want to offend anyone.

But if you are consistently not yourself, you will inevitable destroy yourself. You cannot go through life saying things you don’t believe or acting in ways that do not align with your values.

Sooner your later, those thing you said and things you did will become your new values. And the real you will be lost.

“One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied doing wrong in any other department.” -Gandhi

How to (Actually) Be a Likable Person

“No matter how agreeable, how likable, or how admirable you come off, if it’s not coming fro a place of sincerity and absolute trust, then it really doesn’t hold much weight.” –Tony Robbins

The drive to be “liked” can be so powerful that it becomes one of our sole goals. The problem is, just like trying to force your cat to love you almost guarantees they’ll avoid you (one of the many reasons why I can never reconcile with cats), trying to “get people to like you” always backfires.

The only way to truly connect with other human beings is to be yourself — whole, authentic, and genuine.

People respect vulnerability — it’s such a rare trait.

For example: I had just met someone new at a party. He was fairly aggressive and opinionated. “The Chargers suck!” he declared to the people in our little circle. “Yeah, totally,” I nodded vigorously.

Then I realized — I’m from San Diego. That’s my team.

In efforts to connect and be a likable person, I actually forfeited and betrayed my own beliefs (the fact they moved to L.A. and that I’m not a fan anymore is irrelevant, okay?!).

That wasn’t me. Even if I had made a connection with that person, he wouldn’t have connected with the real Anthony. And that connection would invariably deteriorate and decay, because I can’t keep up the façade forever.

If you truly want human connection, and to “know and be known” as the saying goes — you can’t be fake.

Sure, that will probably mean many people won’t like how you’re expressing yourself. But haters confirm greatness. Don’t let anyone stop you.

You must be yourself. Or you will destroy yourself.

The more you truly become yourself, the deeper your connections with others will be. As an added benefit, you will also experience less connection with superficial, phony individuals you don’t want to be around anyway.

What you focus on expands.



6 Proven Steps How to Get Your Dream Job Faster Than Anyone Else

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This short checklist covers how I got my dream job in less than 11 months.

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  1. Kevin Hoelscher says:

    I do value authentic discussion. Fortunately, I meet with about 5 other men at my church every week. We get into other’s lives. It’s still difficult to be yourself even in that environment, but I’m trying to be more vulnerable. I think you care less about what other’s think of you as you get older too.

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