When I was starting my app business I didn’t tell anyone about it. Not even my best friends. I kept it secret for over a year. I didn’t want them to ruin it for me, which I was sure they will.
I thought they might come up with reasons why it’s a stupid idea. Why I shouldn’t do it. They will laugh at me. Or just tell me that it cannot be done and I should do something I have experience in doing.
“Stay on your current path! Don’t throw away your education!”, I heard them saying in my head.
But they actually never did.
For a long time I was convinced that this was the reason I didn’t tell anyone. I feared THEY will ruin it for me. My motivation. My desire to try something new. My urge to go beyond my current limitations. I was afraid they might hold me back.
But the truth is I was extremely insecure and skeptical about it myself. I was my worst discourager. “I” was holding myself back.
I worried about spending a lot of money I didn’t have, starting a business, quitting my job, giving up sleep, spending the whole day worrying about what if I made the wrong decisions, going crazy, and then tried to keep a happy inspirational face when it was time to write my blog…
I just couldn’t do it anymore.
It was very draining. And I was exhausted both mentally and physically. Any additional pressure from the outside world would have made me collapse.
Mostly because I was living two or three lives. Maybe more. And I had to – so I thought – keep them all together. Although living one of them was already challenging enough.
- I had a “secret app empire guy” life.
- I had my “happy and inspirational” life.
- I had my “I hate my job and can’t wait to quit” life.
- And I had my “I hate myself and everyone else” life.
And then somewhere underneath all that bullshit was still the real me. The one which arises once you let go of all your superficial stories and ideas. Of all the crap of what you are supposed to be doing. And all that nonsense of what others think you should act like.
For all this time I was trying to cover up what I was with what I thought other people would like me to be. I rejected what I was for what I could become. Eventually.
I followed this stupid advice to fake it till you make it.
But the thing is…
Fake it till you make it is a scam. It doesn’t work. Like at all. It makes you live two or more lives. Both illusory and unreal.
And your inner self – the real you, the thing that is left when everything in the outside crumbles (which WILL happen) – is getting buried somewhere underneath these illusions.
You end up rejecting being who you are right now. And also secretly admitting to yourself (in a lone moment) that you are not fully the “idea” of the person you are trying to project to others. You are somewhere in the middle. And then again, nowhere.
When you are “faking it till you make it”, you are lying to yourself. And the worst part is that you KNOW. Your soul knows and questions your inauthentic actions.
When you are saying one thing but doing the other it gets painful. When you are wasting energy to keep illusions alive. When there are opposing “powers” pulling you in different directions and you are clueless on what is real anymore. That’s when you realize that you fucked up.
You are literally living a lie. Because none of it is true. It takes up a lot of mental energy to keep up these mental constructs. And doing so will drain you in no time.
So what do you do?
Being authentic is the real solution.
But it takes courage. Courage I didn’t have back then. It takes courage to admit that you are an amateur and have a lot still to learn. That you have no clue what you are doing. It takes courage to admit (to yourself) that you are not there yet and that’s OK. It takes courage to look yourself in the mirror and fully accept and love what you see.
- Let go of what you think others expect from you.
- Let go of the image you have of yourself in your head and you are trying to live up to.
- Do what you say. And say what you do.
- Be courageous.
- Be brave.
And don’t be shy about showing your weaknesses.
Because then you will realize that there are none.
You wanna know why people are drawn to “being authentic”?
It’s attractive because it became rare. Scarce resources are always attractive.
People are living lies. I did. I was lying to my best friends. We get easily tempted to show off and be better than the person next to us. It’s instant gratification. You are worse, so I must be better.
Nobody is happy with what they have because happiness now became a relative measure. Having more and being better than someone else is now more important than having or being for the sake of having and being.
People are afraid to show their true self and face the vulnerability that comes with doing so.
But funny enough these are the people we call heroes.
Because they say what everyone is afraid to say. They do what we secretly hope we could do as well, but know we never will. They are brave when others are afraid.
Every single person I admire does something I WISH I was brave enough to do myself. That’s why I admire them. Because they are strong, when I am weak.
But I know that eventually with time something will rub off on me.
And soon I’ll be brave as well.