5 things no one tells you about being true to yourself

1) It sounds like the easiest, most natural thing to do. But it’s the hardest.

This is going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It’s most likely going to mean flipping your whole life upside down, doing a complete 180. You’ll be changing plans you thought were set in stone, restructuring the way you see the world and altering the vision you had for your own life. More often than not, you’ll feel like you can’t do this, but you’ll also know it’s exactly what you have to do. You’ll want to shut off from the world for days – and you may need to do just that.

2) Most people won’t like it.

Being true to yourself means change – and people don’t like change. You’ll be bursting other people’s bubbles, changing the plans they had for how you would fit into their lives. Quitting your job? Even though you’re good at it? Stopping drinking or smoking even though all your friends do it? Saying no to that promotion? Going vegetarian in a family of Sunday barbecuers? Whatever it is, you’ll be making changes that are right for you, and inconvenient for everybody else.

Your honesty will be a threat. You’ll be growing into a better, more authentic version of yourself, and that means you’ll become more confident, more free. You’ll laugh more and apologize less. You’ll be louder now, more opinionated, more frank – you’ve stifled yourself all this time, once you finally yank out that cork, the wine of your soul will flow and it won’t stop.

3) You’ll have to hurt people in the process, even though you don’t want to.

Hurting people you care about is the worst by-product of being true to yourself. Maybe you’ve realized the time has come to end your long-term relationship, even though your partner is a great person and you still love them. Maybe you’ve decided you have to quit the job where everyone relies on your skills or maybe you’ve realized you want to live somewhere else, which means moving away from your family, who adores you. Choosing yourself means not choosing others, and that inherently means causing them pain, of varying degrees, even though that’s the last thing you want to do.

4) You’ll break your own heart.

As you become this more authentic you, you’ll begin to realize things about your former self and your old life that will make you sad – how you let yourself down, how you stifled yourself, how you ignored your gut. Hindsight and objectivity will show you how much you were not living your truth before now, and that realization will be harsh and it will hurt. You will have to grieve for the person you were so you can become the person you are.

5) You’ll surprise yourself.

As cliché as it sounds, through all of this turmoil, you’ll realize how strong you really are. You’ll discover there are more facets to your being than you previously believed. When you are true to yourself, you become all the things you always wished you could be but thought you couldn’t. You find new sides of yourself that were actually always there – they were just buried beneath your surface of fear and stifled expression. You’ll surprise yourself when you start singing along to your music out loud on the street, something you used to be too shy to do. You’ll surprise yourself when you notice a confident bounce in your walk that wasn’t there before. You’ll surprise yourself when you hear your own voice sounding strong and empowered, saying things you used to keep inside. You’ll discover you’re capable of much more than you think.

Welcome to your new life. There’s no turning back.

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