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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Vella

The Energy Cost of Being Less YOU

I was recently at the Toronto Pride festival (first time since 2019!) with my boo (it was their first time attending). They remarked on the fact that so many people (queer and otherwise!) love attending Pride because of the safe, inclusive, and non-judgmental vibes - it's a place where everyone can be themselves, let their freak flags fly, and have no fear about any negative repercussions. It's absolutely true that Pride has a very different energy than most other social spaces. Imagine if our entire world was like that?? That would be amazing!

Unfortunately, it isn't. Yet! Which is why so many of us do a lot of masking and self-censoring and other strategies that help us manage other people's perceptions of us. In other words, living with maximum authenticity can be hard to do in our world.

But here's the thing: being inauthentic has a huge energy cost. Being a people pleaser, not advocating or caring well for yourself, or just hiding away the 'weird' (but probably interesting!) parts of yourself takes up a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth.

Anytime you can be more authentic and you take advantage of that opportunity, you free up energy that you’d otherwise be using to create a less authentic persona for yourself for other things. Not only is that freeing energy-wise, so that you can utilize that energy for other stuff you’d rather be doing, but it’s freeing mentally and emotionally as well. When we are more ourselves, we are happier and freer - and able to be more productive, if that’s what’s on the agenda. But if not, feeling better about yourself is always a worthwhile pursuit. There's only so much energy to spend each day, so using it wisely to get shit done and philosophically kick ass is a better use of it then hiding your cool, weird self away from the rest of the (also weird, let’s be honest) world.

I know this is easier said than done, and that there are often legitimate reasons that people keep certain parts of themselves to themselves. If we are each being honest, a lack of fully authentic living is a consequence of fear of judgment. If it's fear that's holding you back and not some other more legitimate reason (i.e. losing your job or family support, etc.), start small and accumulate a string of neutral or positive experiences to help boost your confidence. Re-framing our thoughts is always easier when we take action to 'prove' to ourselves that our fears are unfounded (which they almost always are!)

We are all weird and what makes us weird is often our unique superpower, too. When you start living more authentically, you'll find that you start getting more done because you have more energy available and you can focus more on the present moment. And that's how authenticity and productivity are related!

I'm a huge Brooklyn 99 fan, so I'll let Captain Holt have the last word on this topic (but I'll add "... and the bigger impact we can all make in the world!):

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