This likeable life: being authentic is the key to being liked

As a kid, I was constantly told that I was pretty by my family, but I never believed them. Instead, I believed what the media told me was beautiful, I believed what my peers said, searching for a magical potion to make me look better. As a little girl, I associated being beautiful with being liked. Subconsciously, I bought into the false idea that I couldn’t fit in unless I changed my appearance and my personality. And so my teenage years and early 20’s involved me manipulating who I really was so I could fit in and have friends. All I really was looking for was to be liked by everyone. However, that destructive process led me to lose my unique essence. By people pleasing every group I deemed superior, I never took the time to ask myself what I like and what I don’t. What are my beliefs? Fortunately, life has a beautiful way of bringing you what you need when you least expect it. After failing in more ways than one, I’ve learned that I am likeable exactly as I am. Here are just a few ways you can stop beating yourself up and start accepting that not everyone will like you, but you are more likeable when you let go of people pleasing and start being your authentic self.

1. Show up as yourself

This crazy, messy, exciting, joyous life needs us to be our most authentic selves. We all have unique gifts that must be shared with the world. There is absolutely no risk that comes from sharing our gifts with others. The risk is much greater when we hold onto our gifts for fear of being judged, possibly not liked even. But it’s our unexpressed gifts, dreams, ideas that destroy our self-esteem. We can develop depression and anxiety when we repress our talents.

Obviously there aren’t any shortcuts to becoming your authentic self. It will require commitment and serious inner work. When we can allow ourselves to look within, see the real person hiding under all the camouflage and protection, we witness the good, the bad, and the ugly.  By accepting that we aren’t perfect, we take the first step towards living a more authentic life.

2. Forgive yourself because you love yourself

We have all made mistakes in our lives. Whether we were shitty friends or horrible partners, we all have experiences in our lives that we aren’t proud of. Maybe we cheated on someone who trusted us or told a lie to get something we thought we wanted, it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. Today is a new day, and you get to start fresh. Cultivating kindness for yourself is hard work. After years of constantly berating ourselves for all of our past mistakes, it can be a very real struggle to stop and choose to love ourselves instead. But when you are finally able to honor and accept the past, you begin to move toward loving yourself.

Think about all the lessons that your past mistakes have taught you. Be grateful for those lessons. Life has a way of teaching us exactly what we need to learn at the perfect time, until we finally learn the lesson. Loving yourself may seem like a really hard thing to do, but the more you can practice being kind to yourself by talking to yourself like you would a best friend, the closer you become to being supremely authentic.

3. Practice mindfulness

This isn’t some fairy, new age concept. Hear me out: authentic people accept their life experiences and allow themselves to feel any and all emotions that arise. They don’t repress any of their feelings and allow them to boil up inside. Anxiety and guilt develop from a lack of being present, either being stuck in the past or projecting our fears into the future. If we begin to doubt our ability to handle any challenges that come into our lives, we create unnecessary anxiety in our lives. Authentic people experience life challenges from a loving place where forgiveness and gratitude reside.

Being liked involves being authentic. Authenticity requires a daily practice of being kinder to ourselves. By embracing our own truth, no matter what that may be, we become less concerned about people pleasing or being rejected. And there is absolutely nothing more liberating for your wellbeing than being comfortable in your own skin.

Now, I’d love to hear from all of you. Are there any ways that you notice yourself wanting to people please? Finding that you lose yourself just a little when you try to conform instead of living in your own truth? Try out these tips and let me know if they help you become more authentic. Let’s all give one another more love. The more love we can share with each other, the better our world can be. I love reading all your comments and feedback. Let’s the continue the conversation below.

Zoya

A 20-something girl on a journey to find herself with hopes of helping others feel their feelings.