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Living Unapologetically

Mallory Hagan

The world we live in makes it difficult to drown out all of the ‘noise.’ We are forever being told what’s new and on the rise and there are a plethora of “How To’s,” lists, and opinions to comb through on a daily basis. The internet is a land mine, and marketing is sometimes our greatest enemy. At 27 years old, it takes daily practice and constant reminders to remain true to who I am, what I believe and to remember where I'm from. I sometimes fail. We all do. But, I take pride in remaining as authentic as possible. I’m not perfect and neither are you. If I only project perfection in to the world, am I really being myself? Of course not.  Being your most authentic self takes work—a lot of work—and getting to that place of peace requires some serious self-assessment. Living unapologetically is the most liberating feeling. Here are my tips to living life as the most authentic version of you possible. 

Be Here for YouThis is not an endorsement of selfish behavior, but rather of self-awareness. In the world of social media and constant connection, we all know that everyone has an opinion. And since we choose to share our lives online, others feel as though they are entitled to openly criticize our lives and our choices. You are not here for anyone else.  The internet age has encourage a society where everyone feels like their opinion in your comment section matters (and it does…. if you ask for it!). You can't make everyone happy, and sometimes your life choices whether in person, or online, will come with scrutiny. So be it. 

Accept Your Strengths and Weaknesses— Every. Single. Person. is different. We have all heard that a million times in our life, so why is it still so hard to wrap our brains around? Any psychologist can attest that a sense of belonging is not only necessary, but sought after. We don’t want to be different, because if we are different, it is a signal to us that we are some how less than. I can assure you that is not the case. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How do they contribute to the world around you in a unique way? We cannot all be the best and/or brightest expert on all. things. ever. You—every single one of you— possess individual traits that set you apart. The sooner you identify, cultivate and hone those traits, the more confident you will be in what you bring to the table. Focus on what you are good at and allow your strengths to outshine your perceived shortcomings. Your newfound confidence will lead to more authenticity. The assurance you feel will be based on what you know to be true.

Court Your PassionsHuman beings are evolving creatures. In the same way that our fashion taste and our Netflix interests change, so do our passion points. It is truly difficult to live a life of personal fulfillment and comfort if you have not taken the time to figure our where your inner spirit thrives. Once you have evaluated what your strengths and weaknesses are, use them to focus your energy on something that makes you feel alive and happy. You simply cannot project authenticity and magnetic energy without passion. People have to see and feel your enthusiasm for life, and for the world around you. Join a club, pick up a sport, learn to cook; do something that doesn’t involve friends, work or going out. You’ll be surprised. 

Keep Learning and Growing- Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Not to be cliche, but knowledge is power. When you actively seek ways to exercise your emotional, spiritual, physical and academic self, you increase your level of awareness and expand your global perspective. In life, it’s so important to continue asking questions and seeking answers. Living in the mindset of ignorance only breeds insecurity and complacency. Often, we find ourselves around others who are content with where they are. Those people are dead weight. Surround yourself with others who also invest in personal development and growth. Their progress will only enhance your own. In order to grow as human beings and dream bigger dreams, we have to continually see the world around us through a new lens: curiosity. 

Do the Best You Can– At the end of the day, none of us are perfect and none of us should apologize for that– so long as we’re doing the best we can. Cut yourself some slack. Just know that, if you’re trying, then you’re giving it what you’ve got. 

“Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh, aha!”