Authenticity and a Personal Share

Amongst my journey to power up my self-esteem, I’ve looked and tried many things. I’ve noticed significant changes in my life include a good diet, exercise, regular meditation, spending time with people who make me feel good, reading, journaling, and many more. However, I’ve found when I put things like that in place, but I’m not genuinely authentic then; as a result, my self-esteem will suffer. Today, I’m going to explore what authenticity means and a personal share I had been hiding.

Authentic, to me, means being who I am. Not holding myself back, not trying to be someone else, and allowing that person to express it to the world. I am a creative, quite crazy, friendly, and a people-oriented man. I’ve found mainly in the last decade when I am that person people respond well to me, and my social life is always improving. Most importantly, it feels right for me to be me. I follow goals that feel right to me, not what an acquaintance says, not what a friend says and not even what a close family member says, what feels right for me.

There are some great role models out there for me and everyone else who follows their own goals. It’s good to follow role models and look at their good traits and skills, but each time I adapt it into my style. For example, I admire the character Harvey Spectre off of Suits, but that doesn’t mean I will go into my day joy telling someone ‘I don’t give a shit’. I take certain qualities that will help me, such as better eye contact or sitting in a relaxed and calm position. It’s essential I feel to look at what people have done well but always have your style. We also run the risk of comparing ourselves to others if we look outwards to copying other people.

When I’ve not been authentic, though, I’ve found that quite harmful to my self-esteem. Why? It’s because I am sending a message to myself that who I am is not good enough authentically, and this can cause a downward spiral.

My personal share
There has been one area in my life that I’ve hidden for a while in my romantic life. It is something I’ve hidden on dates for a while until recently (obviously with the lockdown, I’m not going dating anytime soon).
So I’d thought I’d share this as this is very much against social norms, and I’ve always worried that this might cause harm in forming a relationship. Until one day, I was just honest about it and realised it was fine. So here it is…
I’m 29 years old, I’m a heterosexual male who has done well in life. I’ve written several books, I’ve formed multiple YouTube and Podcast content, I’ve got a great day joy which I worked hard to get, I’ve got loads of qualifications, I’ve got many great groups of friends, I have a great family, I’ve traveled to many places in the world, I’m healthy, I’ve skydived, I’ve walked on fire, abseiled off of big big buildings and much more.
In terms of my dating life, I’ve been on probably 30-40 dates (this is leading somewhere honest). I’ve been seeing a girl for maybe a couple of months and been with girls in that way. However…. I’ve never had a relationship.
You read that correctly, I’ve never had a relationship at 29 years old. Some people (or most people) are so shocked as this is against the social norm. You hear stories of people in bad relationships or long term where it didn’t work. Being 29 and not having a relationship is quite rare.
‘So why are you single for 29 years Jonny?’
Good question!
So I’ve never been one of those lads who can get any girl, but I’ve managed to go on quite a few dates, but none of these have ever worked out. Sometimes I just wasn’t into them, and therefore I don’t pursue a girl if I’m not into her as I don’t believe it does either of you good. Then I thought I’d quite like them but they didn’t feel the same interest back. It is fair enough, but I do not follow up or chase someone who is not into me; that’s quite frankly a waste of energy. Even if they would go out with me, it would probably end in hurt later.
Then there were probably three where we really connected, but due to different circumstances, e.g. they were long-distance or moved away, it wasn’t to be.
I used to get insecure when I went on dates and lie to them about having a girlfriend in the past. I would talk about a previous girl I was dating as being a relationship. I felt embarrassed to say I’d never had a proper relationship before.

Of course, this used to frustrate me, and I asked, ‘why can’t I get a girlfriend???’ then I started to think about it differently in the last year and started to see it was happening for me. My self-esteem is at an all-time high, as it’s given me the chance to work on me. When I shared this with more people other than close mates, people started to understand. I shared this with someone I was dating, and she was okay with it. I began to realise also that it’s okay that I’ve not had a relationship. What would I rather do: Find someone I click with? Or settle for less? I started to find a new respect for myself when I realised this too.

Is there a risk that someone mocks me for it or I date someone who can’t see past this? Yes absolutely. However, would I want to lie about being in a past relationship and not tell the truth anymore and lie to myself? No. If someone can’t see past my authentic self who just hasn’t managed to find a relationship before, then they are not the right people to be in my life. No matter if this is romantically or socially.

A final point on authenticity is it allows other people to be who they are. When you share your story or more of your personality, people start to realise they can be too. There is always a chance someone won’t like you, but that will always happen in life. Therefore is it not best to be your authentic self and allow you to be who you want to be?


The video can be found HERE

The podcast can be found HERE

Jonny Pardoe © July 2020
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