How Genuine Are You?

Elizabeth Gilbert

I’m currently reading Chase Jarvis’s latest book Creative Calling, which, as of page 115, is quite good. It reminded me that I want to watch a recent interview that he did with Elizabeth Gilbert. Jarvis and Gilbert are two of my favourites to turn to for reminding how to get my creative game on.

His new book touches a lot on being genuine, being your authentic self. I don’t think that there has ever been a person who has always been authentic, which is kind of strange. I know that it’s normal to try to fit in so that you’re accepted on the playground as a child, among colleagues at work, and with friends and family, but trying to be something you’re not can be exhausting. 

I spent years hiding the fact that I’m gay from pretty much everyone in my life. It was hard and I was miserable. There were challenges as I came out to various people, but I was fortunate that nobody cut me out or behaved in a way that caused me to walk out of their lives. Being honest about it who I am was easier.

I try to live a life where what you see is what you get with me. I’m quirky, but I think of a good person, and if that’s not good enough for someone then they don’t get to enjoy my scintillating company. 

To be honest with others, however, a person needs to first be honest with themselves about who they are, what they want in life, and what they value, and this doesn’t just include the good stuff. We have to be honest with ourselves when we screw up. “Yeah, I left a mess in the kitchen when I promised that I wouldn’t.” “Yeah, I was late so they were left waiting in the rain.” “Yeah, I ate three of those banana chocolate chip muffins when I promised myself I wouldn’t because I’m training for that race.” 

In the interview with Jarvis, Gilbert made an observation that had me pulling out my journal to write it down. She said, “You should definitely try to have a completely honest relationship with at least one person in your life, and probably best if it’s with yourself.”

Amen sister.

Featured image courtesy of Erik Charlton under a CC-BY license.

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