Would the REAL you please stand up?

June 28, 2012

Why is it that we all want to impress each other so badly?

Why do we feel this incredible pressure to convince the world of our worth? Why do we carry this enormous weight on our shoulders?

We want people to think we are better than we are. We want people to be awed and wowed and impressed. We go to great lengths to hide the things about us we think people wouldn’t be impressed by. We simultaneously attempt to gloss over those things, while seeking every occasion to exhibit our best accomplishments and claims to fame.

We want people to think we are better than we are. We want people to think we are richer than we are… more important …more accomplished … more in control… less afraid… less weak… less vulnerable.

We are scared of reality. We are scared of the truth. We are scared of the way things really are.

The truth is, sometimes we are scared; sometimes we are weak. Sometimes we don’t have it all together. Sometimes we’re not perfect. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we’re not famous and important in the world’s eyes.

But there’s this sneaky, disguised fear creeping around all our hearts that the real us is not good enough. That’s why we feel the pressure to try to pretend to have it all together. If people knew we didn’t have it all together… they’d think less of us?

We want people to like us. That’s the bottom line. So we try to be likable. But you know what’s funny? The more we try to be likable, the less likable we become.

This is why the writers of stories and books have to include flaws in their heroes. A hero who is perfectly, well… perfect, has no appeal. We have to see the human side of them to identify with them. Their quirks and weaknesses are actually what make them appealing.

So the endless cycle goes something like this: 1. We want to impress people and want them to think well of us. 2. We try to impress them by trying to appear more confident, rich, in control, or talented than we really are. 3. Our masquerade actually distances us from them and has the exact opposite effect of what we intended.

So stop trying to be perfect. Stop trying to be something you’re not. Stop trying to impress people. Be yourself. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Tell the ugly parts of your story. Admit that sometimes you are afraid. Be real. When you don’t know something, admit it instead of trying to pretend you know.

It’s okay to be human. It’s okay not have it all figured out. Lay down the mask. Stop the charade. Quit acting and start living, authentically.

There are two slave masters named “what people will think of me” and “what people will say about me.” Stop letting them control your life.

There’s an amazing freedom when you take off the costume and become you again. I know this sounds like a bumper sticker or cheesy song, but… let God break the bondage of trying to impress people so that you are free to be you. Free to be the real you.

Because God loves the real you. And so do we.

I struggle with this sometimes. Do you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.