This is an amazing piece by Dr. Baruch Halevi about the importance of saying hello to your authentic self, and good-bye to your inauthentic self.
Your Inauthentic Self Is A Real Bitch...Why You Should Speak Your Truth And Kick Her To The Curb By Baruch Halevi
Whenever I go to Starbucks I pretty much have an existential crisis trying to communicate my name to the poor Barista who has to write it on the cup. Finally I got wise and just started making up names. It was a great plan, except that I was about to discover lying about who you are brings with it a whole host of new challenges much worse than having your name butchered.
The practical problem: Invariably, while waiting for my drink, I’ll be working away on my laptop wondering why they haven’t called me, only to realize that “Jim’s” drink was ready twenty minutes ago.
The mental problem: I can barely remember my kid’s names, let alone a all of my Starbucks aliases, and on more than one occasion I have forgotten the name I gave. As a result I end up standing there like some creepy latte stalker, manhandling everyone else’s drink too embarrassed to tell the barista I forgot my own name.
The moral (and marital) problem: But here’s the real reason I stopped using fake names. At one Starbucks I used Jim so many times, or was it Jon or Bob (I forget), that I began to get called Jim beyond Starbucks. Once, when I was out to dinner with my wife, a not unattractive female barista said, “hi Jim.” I had no choice but to say hi back, kick my wife before she said anything, and then spend the rest of the night getting kicked right back as I feebly tried explaining what the hell that was all about.
Whew, lessoned learned. Lying about who we are is a hell of a lot of work. It’s confusing and it’s even dangerous. But the truth of the matter is we do it all the time – and I’m not talking about Starbucks.
Even if we don’t explicitly lie about our identity, or make up aliases, nonetheless we all lie about who we are. We do it through living as our Inauthentic Self.
What is our Inauthentic Self?
Each of us has within us what I would call the Authentic Self.
The Authentic Self is who we really are. She’s not a version of us, she is us. She’s our deepest longings, our true desires, our ultimate purpose and reason for being here. She flew solo within us as a child, up until that moment when little Johnny made fun of her favorite dress, “oh, ya, I hate this dress too,” and she never wore it again. Or was it her big brother who made fun of her scribbling and trying to pass it off as art, “you’re right, I hate drawing anyways,” she said as she put away her Crayons for good.
And then, sometime in grade school, definitely by Jr. High School, Authentic Self got a new suite mate whom we’ll call Inauthentic Self (though I also refer to as Representative Self, Social Self and Cocktail Party Self).
Inauthentic Self is that version of us that shows up, but is not exactly us. Rather, she’s a representative of us. Her goal is live the path of least resistance. To blend in. To get ahead. To preserve the relationship. To keep the peace. To be comfortable. To be happy and a thousand other qualities, usually revolving around ease. The one thing that Inauthentic Self doesn’t care much about, however, is truth. She’s not opposed to it, so long as it doesn’t get in the way of comfort, security, ease or the like. However, the moment truth clashes with comfort, Inauthentic Self will do whatever she has to do to make sure Truth takes a holiday.
Inauthentic Self is a yes woman. She’s a people pleaser. She’s a good time gal, seriously, she’s usually a lot of fun. However, the one thing she isn’t is truthful.
Her mother-in-law is unhappy with the Thanksgiving plans so in walks Inauthentic Self and says, “no problem, we’d love to come to your house, again.” All the while Authentic Self is sitting there on the sidelines saying, “We would? WTF!!!”
Her friend asks her for yet another favor that she really doesn’t want to agree to. Just as Authentic Self is about to say, “Hell no, not this time,” Inauthentic Self bursts out “Of course.”
Her husband talks at her, not to her, making her feel like a child, again. And just as Authentic Self is about to unleash holy hell, Inauthentic Self becomes a prosecuting attorney turning this around on her as if it’s her fault. He’s the victim and she’s the perpetrator in some weird Inauthentic Self reasoned way.
And when she looks in the mirror Inauthentic Self goes on a authenticity rampage. Authentic Self is begging with her, pleading with her to see her beauty, her loveliness, her infinite worth. Inauthentic Self, however, will have none of it, and sits there screaming a thousand reasons why she is not beautiful, not lovely and not worthy.
Whereas Authentic Self is gentle, kind and quiet, Inauthentic Self is a ruthless, mean spirited bitch. She lies. She cheats. She withholds. And she steals. She robs us of our worthiness. She cheats us of our authenticity. And steals from us of our truth.
My friends, we may write on that Starbucks cup our honest to goodness name, however, each and everyone of us spends way too much of our lives lying in other ways.
We lie when we fail to speak up for what we want.
We lie when we fail to speak out for what we believe.
We lie when we send Inauthentic Self into the difficult situations to do our bidding, to keep the peace or to get ahead – always at the expense of truth.
Although Inauthentic Self is obvious during our teenage years, don’t think for a second she has gone away with the passing of years. On the contrary, she simply grows more sophisticated, more subtle and more powerful the longer she goes unchallenged.
Whether its at home or work, in social settings or our most intimate relationships, when we allow Inauthentic Self to rule the roost, reign supreme and dictate the direction of our lives, we are living a lie.
Do you want to find happiness, feel a sense of connection, have a sense of worthiness? Do you want to live an authentic life, your authentic life?
It begins by being honest about who we are, and how we are showing up in all areas and relationships. And that means we have a decision to make. It’s either Authentic Self or Inauthentic Self. It’s one or the other. It can’t be both.
And if you choose Authentic Self, get ready to rumble.
No more softly whispering to Inauthentic Self to be more sincere.
No more gently suggesting she be less judgmental.
No more simply offering her a chance to tell the truth.
Our job is to reign her in. Our job is to shut her down. Our job is to unleash the full fury of our Authentic Self upon her. The only way to deal with her is to pack her bags, push her out and kick her to the curb.
And that happens when we speak our truth.
And that continues when we love our truth.
And that is what will be when we live our truth.
So take back your life. Make your decision. Choose your Authentic Self. And speak, love and live your truth.
Like this article? Check out Halevi’s piece, “Desire: It’s So Much Bigger Than Lust or Sex.”