Growing up, I got familiar with a saying in my mother tongue about the integrity of pictures and how what you see is what you get but our current reality is far from that opinion. We live in a time where almost everything, from our appearance to our speech, is cloaked with deception. There seems to be a growing culture of superficiality and many people are losing their essence, depth, identity, visions, and reality to the battle of assumptions versus truths. The tragedy, however, is that many are victims of a war they are ignorant of.
As I proceed, it is important to bear in mind that perception- what people think of us- is very important. It determines, to an extent, the quality of our relationships, our access to resources and generally, our perceived worth and the consequential value placed on us as individuals. So, we cannot trivialize perception. In fact, we should be conscious about projecting the right image and informing perception lest we become victims of incorrect assumptions. Nevertheless, this must be done on the foundation of our reality.
Our reality, our truth, is extremely important. When the shiny cloaks of falsehood come off, our truth remains irremovable. So, while we can survive deceiving others, self-deception can only guarantee self-destruction. Meanwhile, of what use is a good reputation or perception that doesn’t correspond with or improve our reality?
Few months ago I had taken up a job as a broadcaster in a media house and I was really excited about the prospects and opportunities presented. But, few weeks down that road, I discovered that the offer wasn’t what I expected and should settle for. But I didn’t want to be a quitter. Besides, while I fought inwardly to stay on and legitimize my experience every day I showed up at work, the external feedback was different. I was fast becoming a celebrated celebrity in my social circles and my friends were proud of me on another level. Honestly, it felt goooood. The attention and respect that holding on to that unsatisfactory employment earned me in no time was amazing but my reality was far from cake and tea. And then came those people who started calling in for favors as though I had hit a jackpot when they had no idea how much favor I needed to call in myself. Basically, my social portfolio was rising at the expense of limited funds and time allocation. I was missing out on life and not getting compensated for it. Then, I confronted myself and decided that I couldn’t afford to be a broke and unfulfilled superstar. So, I quit. Though I disappointed some friends who had earned bragging rights on my prospective superstar status, I knew I had to own up to my truth and get me a better reality.
I think I’m drifting but here is my point. You owe yourself the truth of your truth always regardless of what anyone thinks. Nobody can understand your reality like you and you owe you the gift of a good life and not a perceived or assumed good life. So, the best place to stand always is in your truth. While it is wisdom to always put your best foot forward and not wash your dirty linen in public, don’t deceive yourself and don’t let people deceive you. Don’t even try to keep up with anyone because you have no idea what they have to do to keep up with façade they’ve built for themselves.
Truth is simply effortless. It requires far too less management. Though a good reality is hard work which will cost you diligence and unwavering commitment to progressive growth among other things, it’s far cheaper, durable and rewarding. But when you sacrifice your truth on the altar of perception, you’ll end up losing out on life and merely keeping up an appearance. You can do better.
So stop acting and start living out your truth to the best of your ability. As long as you are headed somewhere, it is okay to start small and unpopular. In fact, when you stand in your truth, help locates you far too easily. Confront yourself always. Enhance your real value and it will impact your perceived value. Build everything- your relationships, career, looks- on the solid foundation of truth. Be yourself and stand in your truth- not anyone else’.