I’m 41 years old and I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve met quite a few people from many different backgrounds. Sadly, I haven’t met many strong people – those whose stories will inspire you. Those who will tell you just how much they struggled before they made it. I have met, however, many who pretended they were strong. Here is what I’ve noticed: the strong never shout they are strong. They never claim to greatness. Actually, they don’t need to. They are comfortable, confident, secure, and it shows. And they have no qualms about talking how they failed in the past, or even in the past week. They are never jealous of other people’s successes and they never rejoice over others’ failures. The genuinely strong are actually quite humble and kind, like the very popular song these days.
The weak are another story. The weak and insecure shout how strong they are – and they shout it loud, always. They shout it when you meet them and they shout it all over Social Media. They put their best, falsely manicured foot forward. They are actually threatened by other people’s successes. They want to succeed, but they want to be the only ones. They also want their life to appear perfect, flawless. The life they post on Facebook seems perfect. I pity those people. They are a dime a dozen and I don’t get that they don’t get it. Why can’t they understand that the beauty of people lies in their wholeness. It lies in the wholeness of the human experience – the good and the bad, the success and the failures. I see these people as failing at life – which is a big deal! My mother often told me that I shouldn’t aim to be successful in life, but rather successful at life. There is a big difference between the two.
The people I’ve always appreciated the most in my life were those who were willing to be genuine. Those who readily admitted to their struggles. Those who were willing to say: “Yeah, my life sucks right now” or, “I’m failing at this.” I noticed most people are trying to put on a show. They like wearing masks. They just have to fit in. They figure the best way to do this is by being inauthentic. Ahem, Newsflash: we’re not in high school anymore!
I’m not perfect, but I’ve always been fairly transparent my whole life. If I’m afraid of something, I just say it. If I suck at something, I don’t pretend I’m actually familiar with it or good at it. Heck, sometimes I even enjoy talking about my “epic fails”! I have quite a compilation too. No big deal, right? I mean, life is too short to pretend all the time. Of course I don’t go out of my way to talk about my flaws and failures, but I don’t necessarily avoid it like the plague either. Balance, timing, and discernment, are keys in being real.
So, what do you say? Let’s be real. Let’s be genuine. Let’s be organic. Let’s get comfortable enough with ourselves that we won’t play games anymore. Let’s just post our failures of the week on Social media and see what happens. Picture this on Facebook: “I ate a burnt steak while the kids were screaming and I just wanted to cry.” No biggie, right?