Are you familiar with the current movement toward authenticity? If not, it has been said that being authentic is the ultimate act of letting go. What that means, exactly, depends on your definition of authenticity. But letting go is a big part of most definitions. It is worth looking into if you want to know more about living authentically.
Encouraging authenticity is one of the hallmarks of the Plurawl LatinX clothing brand. The New York City company was founded by a Dominican man living and working in the Big Apple. Starting the business was his response to discovering that he was repressing certain aspects of his authentic self in order to fit in with the culture.
One of Plural’s most popular items is a T-shirt that says ‘Sin Verguenza Social Club’. The phrase ‘sin verguenza’ means ‘no shame’ in English. The idea behind it is that members of the LatinX, Latino, and Latina communities should feel free to be who they are without shame. That means letting go of certain things, including the following:
1. The Expectations of Others
Living life without shame starts by shedding others’ expectations. The thing about expectations is that we all have them. We have them ourselves and other people do. But when we try to live according to what others expect, we make decisions and do things intended to please them. What if they don’t see the world the same way? Meeting their expectations means being true to them, not ourselves.
Certain expectations must be required and met in order to maintain an orderly society. However, there are plenty of expectations that don’t really matter. Those are the ones to let go.
2. The Drive for Perfection
Some people struggle to be authentic because they are driven to be perfect. They have difficulty embracing imperfection, in themselves or other people. Such a mindset is a recipe for chronic unhappiness. Why? Because we live in an imperfect world. Perfection is impossible to achieve in any circumstance. To be truly authentic requires letting that go. Otherwise, we are striving for something we cannot ever have.
3. The “All Things to All People” Mentality
People who struggle with authenticity also tend to struggle with the idea of being all things to all people. They present one image at work and an entirely different image at home. They strive to make the boss happy but turn around and complain bitterly about him to family members.
. Striving to do that leads to neglecting oneself as a person. That’s not authenticity, it’s captivity.
4. The Fear of Offending Others
This last point could very well be the most important: letting go of the fear of offending others is an integral part of authenticity. No matter who you are as a person, you’re going to offend someone at some point. That is a normal part of life. It is the result of the fact that not all of us see the world the same way.
Trying to live life without offending others ultimately leads to living a life walking on eggshells. That’s not good for anybody. You try very hard to not offend, only to discover that when you do – and you will, at some point – those who were offended can never be made happy anyway.
Being truly authentic is the ultimate act of letting go. Some people have more to let go of than others. That’s okay, because we’re all different.