What’s more important to you; image or authenticity?
We can tell a lot about our (current) self when we examine what we find most important to us in any moment.
For some, image is most important. Which basically means caring more about what other people think, how we’re seen, what box people put us in, what groups we belong to and are accepted in – the kind of person we want people to think we are and perceive ourselves to be.
It’s kinda like being socially acceptable rather than our authentic self, well-liked by the masses vs formulating meaningful connections. Status and materialism vs identity and substance. Being right and perfect vs making mistakes and being human. Arrogance vs confidence. Real vs fake. Avoidance vs problem solving. People pleasing vs self-love. Acquaintances vs friendships. Quantity vs quality.
It isn’t really about what other people think of course, in truth it’s all about us (as it always is) specifically our ego and what it perceives. That’s why when any truth that contradicts our ego is pointed out to us we feel that niggle and crack in the mask of its fragility.
For some, authenticity is most important. Which basically means being ourselves, with far less regard for how others perceive us and our lives. It’s an acknowledgment and acceptance of all our strengths and weak spots in one. It’s depth vs surface living. Knowing thyself vs avoiding thyself. Humble vs grandiose. Contentment vs need for attention. Self-validation vs need for approval. Vulnerability vs self-preservation. Speaking up vs biting our tongue. Self-expression vs holding back. Experiences vs things. Growth vs standing still. Big conversations vs small talk. Open minded vs ignorance is bliss. Who we are vs who the world tells us we should be.
We all have an authentic self, we all have an ego, we’ve all been there and experienced the tickle of each existence. Flipping between the two as we venture through life. As we grow, we recognise the difference between image and authenticity comes down to our secure self vs our fragile ego.
The goal for all of us must surely be our secure self? To know thyself and be thyself without fear nor apology.
So, what’s more important to you?