Having high expectations is good as long as they don’t come at the cost of being authentic. So, are expectations good or bad?
When you expect too much of yourself, you can never achieve an authentic life. If you are always chasing after some ideal standard, you won’t be able to appreciate who you are in the moment. An inauthentic life is never profoundly satisfying.
However, if you don’t expect enough of yourself, you also won’t be able to achieve an authentic life. You’ll be resigned to your shortcomings. You’ll assume that the way you are today is as good as it gets.
Be Authentic: It’s Okay to Cry
One common way to be inauthentic is to hold back your tears. Big boys or girls don’t cry. But what does it cost you to maintain the appearance that nothing phases you?
Keeping your feelings stuffed inside splits you in two psychologically. The public (or visible) you takes on too high expectations while the private (or hidden) you takes on too low expectations. This puts you in a body that is trying to be two different people at the same time. The more a person insists on living this way, the more likely they will experience a psychological breakdown.
No one should have to pretend to have their life together just to keep a relationship. But it’s all too common for someone to believe I’m too much or I’m too little.
Be Authentic: It’s Okay to Risk
The person you are today isn’t all that God has planned you to be. While being genuine doesn’t mean pretending to be someone greater than you are, it also doesn’t mean embracing a negative self-image. The one is too prideful while the other is too humble.
To seek to be closer to who you really are requires risking exposure. Some people will find out you aren’t who you’ve been leading them to believe. You might also find out that you’re never going to be like someone you idolize. Both of these realizations can produce some sadness.
If you’re going to choose an authentic life, be prepared for some initial disillusionment. But it should resolve quickly. If you work at accepting your God-given identity, you’ll find you’ve only lost what was never true and gained what was always true.
Be Authentic to Maximize Your Belonging
God wants us to embrace exactly who we are: who He made us to be. He gives each of us the faith to see our true selves. Because God planned for you to be your authentic self, you will automatically belong with Him and all your other spiritual brothers and sisters.
You must be willing to understand your identity and act with integrity because others are depending on you to be authentic.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.Romans 12:2-5 NLT
Don’t compromise who you are (God’s design) for any reason.
Would anyone like to share some ways they struggle to be authentic?
Read more about being genuine.
Image by Stephanie Ghesquier from Pixabay
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