The only thing I want to do before turning thirty.

But the truth is that the world couldn’t care less about how I spend the last year of my twenties. Those who love me — and those are the only people that truly matter — care about one thing only: for me to be happy and let them partake in my happiness.

From there came a realisation that although I go about preaching that we all should be able to go with the flow, following what ‘feels good’ whilst accepting that not everything will always feel good (and that’s ok), I’ve hardly allowed myself to practice what I preach.

And with years, as my personality became more defined and circumstances more unique to me, this has become a bit of a chore.

All in all, we all want to belong and feel accepted, and — you know — just be “normal”.

And although my friend’s accusation was a bit harsh and perhaps exaggerated in the context of our argument, it stuck with me for a while. Was I being inauthentic in any context of real importance? Was I reluctant or unable to speak my truth? Was I creating or accepting situations that were incongruent to who I aspire to be?

Authenticity is taking that one extra conscious step toward aligning everything we do — as much as possible — with the core of who we are.

And the truth is that some of the choices I was making were still misaligned with who I wanted to be. These choices don’t have to be “big”. All in all, how many really big choices are we making on a daily basis?

The devil is in the details, and most of the time it’s the small, everyday decisions that make or break us.

Sometimes it’s how we choose to talk to ourselves, or the way we prioritise things. At times it’s the kind of people we choose to let into our lives, or the position we allow them to take. At other times sill, the devil will lurk behind the daily habits we base our lives on.

  1. Give my f*cks sparingly.

‘Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a f*ck about what’s truly f*ckworthy’.

In his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, he aptly claims that what prevents the majority of us from being authentic — and by extension, happy and fulfilled — is caring/worrying about too many things we actually inherently do not care or want to worry about. It’s natural that when we’re younger, everything seems to matter a lot and so we care about everything and everyone. Even the silly things, like the kind of yogurt we’re made to eat for breakfast (yup, that was me).

That’s why it’s so important to ask oneself one question— if any of my/their external circumstances changed (e.g. job, life style, appearance, or one person bending over backward to meet the other’s expectations), would that worsen the relationship itself? If the answer is ‘yes’, then we’re in a conditional relationship.

In the last year of my twenties’ I want to ask myself that question more often and put real effort in unconditional relationships, while politely and gracefully steering away from conditional ones.

Although a bit of a hassle, these simple steps aren’t impossible to implement, and yet I don’t. In light of my behaviour then, am I allowed to call myself an environmentalist and preach to others they should care about the environment? Probably not.

So two things I’d like to do this year is to take a step back and really evaluate whether my behaviours are in line with the values I proclaim. If they aren’t, then I have to either start ‘walking the talk’ (as much as possible), or drop it altogether.

It’s likely that the long list of the things I ‘give a f*ck about’, (using Mark Manson’s words), will naturally become shorter and that the way I define myself will also change as a result. And that’s ok.

5. Speak my truth.

Speaking our truth in these and many other situations will certainly upset some people, but not doing so will inevitably chip into our self-worth and deprive us of authenticity.

I often fear that by being truthful, I will automatically be perceived as rude or cruel. But there’s a way to be kindly honest, in any given circumstances.

Those who care about YOU and not whether you meet all their expectations, will be ok with that. Everyone else you’re probably better off without.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

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Agnieszka Zbieranska

Agnieszka Zbieranska

Business Psychologist, Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, 200hr Yoga Teacher. A firm believer that we can all be better than ‘ok’, in every area of our lives.