Personal Growth

On Being Authentic And Sharing Our Lives With The World

How can we be more authentic in the world?

I’ve always been a private person. I don’t like to talk about myself or be the center of attention because it makes me super duper uncomfortable.

I am fully aware that I can be a difficult person to get close to because I don’t share much of myself with people I barely know (and let’s be honest, even the people I am close with).

There will always be thoughts, feelings, and past experiences that I don’t share with anyone because I’d rather keep them locked up within me. I’m pretty sure this is my own natural defense mechanism to avoid feeling vulnerable or getting hurt in front of other people.

Are you being truly authentic in your daily life?

Sometimes I really, truly wish I was that person who could feel comfortable sharing more of my inner self with the world.

I know there are people out there who have no problem sharing every detail of their life with complete strangers. In a way, I like these kind of people because I feel like I’m close with them without even making an effort to get to know them.

On the other hand, sometimes I simply don’t need to know a detailed account of what happened during every second of your day (like those Instagram stories with 15 or more posts. I can’t, people).

Sharing your life with the world

Lately I’ve been feeling this resistance when it comes to blogging in terms of how much I share with you. Because I spend so much time in my own head thinking things through and figuring out what I feel about things, I often forget that you don’t actually know everything about me.

All you know is what I share through blog posts and social media. Even then, my blog is an edited version of who I am. I share what I want you to see.

Of course when I write, I’m being real with you. I share the advice I’ve learned from the things I’ve struggled with (and continue to struggle with). I edit out a few details here and there, but for the most part, my writing is as real as it needs to be.

Writing is the one way I am able to share myself fully. I can write out my hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities without feeling scared about sharing them because I know that ultimately other people are going to be able to relate.

Wanting to share more of yourself

Despite this, there’s this part of me that wants to share so much more with you in the moments that they happen. I want to share more of the realness of my life.

Sometimes I feel like I’m writing too many how-to blog posts that don’t give you a glimpse into the person I am behind those tips and tricks, yet I worry that if I start writing blog posts that are more personal or focused more on me than helping you, I’ll seem conceited or full of myself.

I know that we are able to connect more with those who share their vulnerabilities with us. I want to be that person who connects with others easily.

Yet I have so many fears and hesitancy to share what makes me Catherine and not someone else. The Catherine who doesn’t always follow her own advice. The Catherine who is totally indecisive. The Catherine who thinks way too much.

This is pretty much the struggle in my personal life too. I worry that if I start sharing all of my thoughts and feelings with my friends and family, they’ll get bored of listening to me whine. In all reality, I’m judging myself more than they would actually judge me.

Holding ourselves back from being authentic

I always get held back because I think through everything for way too long before I share it. As much as I preach about living in the moment, I am constantly planning out the parts of my life that I’m going to share with others. I’m a perfectionist, and this spontaneity thing doesn’t come easily to me.

I start weighing the pros and cons of sharing my thoughts to the point where it doesn’t even feel authentic anymore.

This is something I might always struggle with. The struggle of feeling comfortable enough to share my fears and feelings as I experience them in order to get closer to other people, whether in real life or through an online community.

Ultimately, I fear sharing my own fears. How counterproductive.

There are times when all I want to do is rant about something, but I talk myself out of it because I want to promote positivity on my blog and in my life. Do you know what I think is more important to promote? Authenticity. Life is never positive 100% of the time, and I would feel like a fraud if I was spreading that message.

My plan to share more of myself

So my question is: How can we be more authentic with everyone we come in contact with?

How much should we filter and edit our lives? Should we be sharing the not-so-great parts? How do we know when to keep quiet?

Maybe the answer is to embrace our authenticity, tell our inner critic to be quiet for a second, and get out of our own heads and just share our damn feelings and opinions for once.

I want to share my true personality and my inner self, so I’m making that one of my goals right now. To let myself be authentic without letting my head get in the way. To stop holding so much in and let it out. To let go of the fear of being judged.

What do you think? What does authenticity mean to you?

Leave a comment letting us know your thoughts!

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Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! The Blissful Mind is your guide to being the calmest, healthiest, most productive version of yourself. Whether you're trying to slow down, de-stress, or feel more content, I’m here to help make life a little less complicated.
  • Lindsay

    I live this post because it is something I genuinely think about often. I am an open book when it comes to parts of my life. This is usually done with intention. When I had a bilateral double mastectomy last summer, I shared with everyone. For two reasons. 1) I didn’t have family in the area and knew I would need help during recovery. 2) I knew that if I was comfortable sharing, my experience could help others on their journey.

    That said, I am very private about other parts of my life.

    I think this balance has worked for me.

    • Sounds like you found a good balance there, Lindsay. I know that I feel comfortable sharing stuff that I know will help people, but the idea of sharing the little parts of my day that people might not even care about is the part that holds me back haha.

  • This is something I struggle with as an introvert, balancing authenticity and privacy and if I add the potential backlash I can get. Wow! It’s enough to make me want to remain a private person. I’ve started share more personal things because putting it on the blog and getting support from others can help to virtually lift my spirits. I think ppl need to see the humanness behind the brand and they’ll accept any part of you you’re willing to share.

    • That’s great that you’ve been sharing more personal things on your blog! Sometimes we have to risk potential backlash if it means that we might also get great feedback.

  • I don’t comment on blog posts often, but just had to this time! I struggle with this same exact thing. Honestly, I feel like I could have written this entire post. Glad to know I am not alone in this struggle.

  • Joanna

    I feel like I am authentic person but as I read this post I started thinking how i am not completing open with some people. Try to keep things …with my colleagues …professional and not my whole self at work.
    I think it’s important to be authentic in a blog bc we readers connect more when we read tips and ideas but also personal struggles. Not so we can be nosy just helps to know “,We are not the only ones struggling”.
    I enjoy your blog but would love to know you better.

    • Hi, Joanna! It can be hard to open up to some people. There are those people who we feel totally comfortable with and others we have a hard time connecting with. That’s where I often struggle to be my authentic self.

  • Yasmina Jazzy Zuhbi

    I absolutely loved this post and as an aspiring writer and new to blogging myself I often struggle with the fine line that is over sharing. I wanted my blog to be an open space where I feel free and safe and connected by sharing some important things about my life but also fear how much of that will actually work to benefit myself and the reading community or how much of it might seem conceited or desperate. I am so happy you did open up in this post as you have just gained a new followed (ME!). keep on keeping on :) -yasminawrites.com

    • Aww Yasmina, thank you! I am so glad this post resonated with you. I often think of my favorite bloggers and what I think about them is how they’re open but not in a way that does make them seem conceited. That’s the goal, I think!

  • Exactly this! It’s so hard to find the line between oversharing and not sharing enough. It’s something I have really struggled with too, being personal requires being a little bit more vulnerable too. But I also feel like posting articles which don’t have anything personal in them makes me feel like I’m tricking anyone who reads it.

    Great post! Lots to think about.

    • Thank you, Kathy! I’m sure it’s something that just gets easier the more you open up. These things take time, right?

  • amelia may

    This is so thought provoking. I do empathise. It’s a tough one knowing how much to share and open up about. But I think like minded, kind people will welcome you doing what ever is right and comfortable for you. Your blog is a wonderful creation and what you do share gives a lovely window into who you are. Bestest wishes.

    Xx

    Keep Calm and start writing ~
    http://www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk

  • Erin C.

    My thoughts are exactly what you wrote in your post Catherine. I’m a realtor and I struggle between being the professional with all the answers and being openly authentic. It’s so difficult to open up because you might see that I’m not perfect and I make mistakes and then you won’t hire me. Yikes! I’m never on Facebook because I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging that I took a nice vacation or my daughter looked beautiful in her prom dress. I know it’s so stupid but I’ve learned to be closed off because I think who else really cares. I’d love to hear more how you deal with this and in the process you’ll be helping so many of us. Thank you Catherine!

    • Hey, Erin! I think what you mentioned about wanting to seem perfect or else people won’t hire us is such a common struggle for all of us! Part of me feels like I wouldn’t want to hire someone who didn’t seem human or did everything right all the time…I’d be worried that they were secretly a robot haha. But it definitely makes me think about how much we hold back because we’re worried about other peoples’ impressions of us.

  • Kiara Stewart

    I have been pondering this question for a long time. I have found from my own experiences that finding balance in all aspects of life leads to optimal functioning. Yet, finding balance is really hard! Some of us like me being an introvert have a really hard time being open with others, however there are times when I crave more social interaction. The token characteristic of being a introvert is that people wear me out. I’m still struggling trying to figure out how much I am comfortable with sharing who I am with others and keeping me all to myself. It can be especially difficult to share negative experiences or aspects about me with others. I don’t believe there is a golden rule or some handbook for this, but one way I have resolved this dilemma is that I choose where I want to be on that continuum with certain people. I do this because sometimes being too open with others is not helpful at all. I think it is a good idea to share negative parts of one’s life because others can learn from you. Great post!

    • Your thoughts are greatly appreciated, Kiara! You’re right that there’s no handbook for this. It’s ultimately about being comfortable and letting in only those who you trust and feel comfortable around.

  • For me, it’s sharing not just to share but knowing that in doing so, in being a bit vulnerable and raw, I may inspire others. There’s so much we all go through that we hide behind or assume others will judge us for and while some may, I find it incredibly empowering to speak my truth <3

    • I love that, Sarah! It can be so hard in the blogging/business world when you know you need to post something to stay consistent, but if you truly have nothing to share, is it worth it trying to force something out?

  • Isra Alaradi

    I really enjoyed this seriously. I can absolutely relate :) I say find your sharing voice in your own comfort and pace. It’s absolutely your decision to make xx

  • I love this post. I have also been on a journey to hear my true voice, my authentic self. My meditation practice has been this channel to do so. Like every other relationship, this one is also dynamic, changing, sometimes wonderful and sometimes hard. I so appreciate your perspective.
    http://mymeditationproject.com/

    • That’s great to hear that meditation has been helping you find your authentic self, Erin. Meditation is crazy impactful!

  • Love this post!

    Authenticity is just so hard these days! It seems like the more authentic a person appears, doubt and judgement and the nasty green eyed jealousy monster along with her quieter twin sister perfectionism seem to settle in. We’re constantly surrounded by fakeness and always being so PC, that when authenticity appears, we can’t trust it.

    I feel that I’m pretty open, but I constantly also struggle with the “Am I being too open?” My fear when writing my own posts is coming across as too loud, too bossy, too dramatic, not real, not practicing what I preach. I have to have the faith that what I am compelled to write will hit home with someone, even if one single person, then it is worth it.

    “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, you’re living yours wrong” – unknown

    “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Ah thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Jenn! Sometimes our own thoughts just hold us back from opening up. Dang it, overthinking! ;)

  • Rebecca David

    I loved everything about this! Sharing my thoughts and life with others is something that I really struggle with too. I live in my own head, because it’s safe there. There will always be fear when it comes to opening up to people. I think being able to be authentic with others is a form of bravery, that despite our fear, we open up. And I think it’s very brave of you to want to open up more here. ❤️

    • “I live in my own head because it’s safe there.” That’s exactly how I feel! Although sometimes I know my own mind can be a scary place haha. Sometimes it’s hard to find that balance.

  • RaBars

    This blog was truly inspiring! Sharing our authentic selfs is definitely a struggle for me and others I know as well. It can be hard to accept our faults and inner critic, whether it be about ourselves or the people around us. Sometimes emitting positive emotions feels like the only correct response, even if there is a need to edit. I appreciate the truth of your writing here and feel obliged to release more of my authentic self as well.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Kristin Ashley

    The fact that I thought about what to comment…smh. This post is definitely me, 100%. Thanks for sharing!!