I cannot say enough in praise of authenticity. It is so important to be who we were created to be, to be truly ourselves. It's important to not sell out just because we want to be accepted or loved. We want to find our own voice, speak our own truth and act in ways that reflect the values we hold dear. To do any less chips away at our core. If caving to the pressure of selling out is how we have gained the friends we have, eventually it will catch up with us and we'll feel that loss of integrity. Once lost, how will it be reclaimed?
And as poet and cancer survivor Mark Nepo says in The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be, "...anyone, no matter how dear, that wants us to be other than who we are does not truly love us or doesn't know how to love."
Strong words. But so true. If your loved ones and friends encourage and support you in being who you truly are, be grateful. Very grateful. If not, perhaps it's time to begin saying "No" to anyone who asks you to be other than who you are. Perhaps it's time to say "Yes" to yourself—and to who you were designed to be.