Wonder and Authenticity – Introduction

It’s natural to go through phases of ‘people pleasing’ behaviour, however, the main problem I’ve discovered from phases of moderate ‘people pleasing’ or ‘DO NOT upset people too much’ philosophy is that holding these personal ‘vows’ closely, mutes your expression, particularly in the moment – and in some cases, mires you in absolute silence – silence is not golden, in my opinion.

If you consciously or unconsciously bind yourself to an ‘internal agreement’ to ‘please people’ or ‘not to offend people’  to various degrees, your creativity, social flexibility and authenticity decreases over time; you become separated from yourself and naturally stunted by your ‘internal agreement’ to ‘not offend’ – this is not good.

The term ‘authenticity’ has been focused on for the past decade or so in many arenas. Living an ‘authentic existence’ generally means to display your true self in all situations in terms of action and communication. For many people, authenticity is not a constant characteristic that can be achieved and then presented consistently in social situations – it can vary. Presentation of degrees of authenticity vary from situation to situation AND over time. Authenticity is something that you can acquire, however is variable AND is analyzed after the fact.

The characteristics that are at the Maslow’s apex of Self-Actualization (see picture below) would likely include ‘authenticity’.

I make an effort NOT to over analyse my actions – it’s a waste of time to a certain extent. I tend to just try and do my best and summarize past situations to “It was what it was” or “that was awkward :/”. The point being is that the situation is in the past, and at times humorously remembered by myself and others 🙂  A few laughs while your head is embarassingly buried in the pillow at night can be good.

There is much to say (and already said) about physiological, safety, belonging and self-esteem needs. I am concerned about these needs for myself and others, however, I wanted to take some time to take a look at the ideas of ‘wonder’ and ‘authenticity’ in the context of Maslow’s categorization of needs shown above.

‘Wonder’ is a positive force and a catalyst to move among these categorization of needs. If mired in physiological (illness/rehab/pain) or safety needs for example, a sense of wonder can bring you ‘outside’ of these situational needs; closer to personal self-actualization for a moment even, which is personally fulfilling.

‘Authenticity’ is also personally gratifying however is more social in nature – authenticity must be displayed, and has an interactive component rather, wonder has characteristics of mental adventure and questioning, with less of a social nature.

But lets get down to brass tacks here – I personally consider Maslow’s whole triangle on a daily basis, how can we not? These are all required needs. Focusing on just the apex of the hierarchy of needs can seem a little self-indulgent, however, this is where I find my interests are – investigating ‘positive psychology’; not focusing on treating illnesses but instead exceling in wellness.

The intention of this article is to introduce you to my basis of theory and adventurous wonderings so that I can build upon these topics and grow with you through, needs analysis, evolutionary psychology, learning, self-development and wellness psychologies in future writings. This article is part one in this series entitled “Wonder & Authenticity” – feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think or which areas you are most interested in, and I will try to add it to my research.

Have a fabulous day, thank you for your feedback, and take time for wondering Lovelies!

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Take care,

xo Aly










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