When it comes to “just being yourself”, teens tend to struggle the most—especially girls.
Social media and peer pressure cause many young women to compare themselves to others, creating a low self esteem, and a belief that they’re unattractive, “uncool”, or not good enough.
The ChooseREAL campaign is working to combat that, promoting messages of self-worth and self belief. Hope Media’s Laura Bennett is a ChooseREAL advocate, and was asked to answer the following question: “What does “Being Real” mean to you? Here’s her response.
Laura’s Thoughts On “Being Real”
What does “Being Real” mean to me? For me, it brings about thoughts of authenticity: being true to our personal beliefs, and narrowing the gap between who we are on the inside, and how we represent ourselves on the outside. It’s about recognizing the value of your individuality, and courageously showing it off.
When you “Choose Real”, you’re choosing to be your best self, and defiantly poking your tongue out at self-consciousness, fear, and external limitation. You know you’ve got frailties and failures, but guess what – so does everyone else! By deciding to be real, you decide to make that OK.
In choosing real, you’re also choosing to adopt a REAL ideal of love, value and beauty. You don’t subscribe to the superficiality dished out to you, that says some people are beautiful and others are not; you know that everyone is loved, has deep worth, and is uniquely purposed.
Here’s 5 Reasons To “Choose Real”
Reason 1: It Creates A Culture Of Freedom
You may have heard it said that if you know the truth, the truth will set you free.
Looking at the filtered reality we observe online and in a lot of media, there’s so many facades and personas and design going into the finished product we consume, that the concept of ‘truth’ is warped.
We see such a narrow depiction of our idols’ lives, misleading our beliefs about beauty and worth.
Yet when you choose real, you make a choice to choose authenticity; and in authenticity you’re choosing truth; and in truth, you choose freedom.
Your choice to be honest about what you believe, your failures, and the things that bring you joy, brings freedom.
Reason 2: It Gives You Room To Fail
When your identity rests in an understanding of inclusive beauty and unconditional love, then the times you mess up, embarrass yourself, or just straight out say the wrong thing, suddenly don’t matter so much.
Your sense of value and worth isn’t tied up in your ability to be ‘perfect’ (…which is GREAT news, because I’ve had have far too many face-palm moments already to make that cut!).
Reason 3: It Sets You On The Path To Your Purpose
I believe each of us are on earth with a purpose wholly our own, yet universally important. No matter what the circumstance of our birth, we are here for a reason.
And all our quirks, traits, tendencies and experiences are part of what make us just right for the job.
Our dreams and gifts are like breadcrumbs, marking the path ahead.
If we abandon any part of who we are in response to society’s view of value, or negative concepts of love, we cut short our potential. And it simply isn’t worth it for the extra ‘like’ or ‘follow’ it may get us.
Reason 4: It Gives OTHER People Permission To “Choose Real”
You know when you’re at a friend’s party and everyone’s ogling the food table with the chocolate fountain and cheese platter?
That’s a moment where someone needs to make the first move. All the guests have the same objective: “Get my strawberry coated in deliciousness, and get that deliciousness into my mouth”.
But it takes someone making the first move, to make that OK. Especially if you’re with a new group of friends, in a new person’s house; you need permission.
When you choose real, you set the platform for others to feel OK with choosing real as well.
Your honesty, and acceptance of your own wackiness, creates a safe space for others to embrace theirs.
Your decision has a ripple effect, and the sooner it means we can all have chocolate-coated strawberries, the better.
Reason 5: It’s Way More Fun!
Yes, choosing real is FUN.
When you think of the people you admire and love to be around, part of what makes them the best company is a fresh-faced confidence to run after their passion. They have bad jokes, a favourite shirt you know they only wash every other week—and they don’t care.
Choosing real means choosing to be comfortable in your own skin, and it’s a BLAST!
Life couldn’t be more ridiculous, free, or fantastic any other way.
About Laura Bennett
- As well as being a ChooseREAL advocate, Laura Bennett co-hosts Hope 103.2 Breakfast, is the author of ‘Live Your Dream’, and founder of The Connect Press.
- This post was originally published on the ChooseREAL website.