Being You During Coming Out::Part 4

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

This is part 4 of a 4-part series in exploration of coming out. I’m looking at what I believe to be four essential components to being who we know ourselves to be on the inside, and matching that person with who we are on the outside.

Part 1Part 2Part 3

Being me. I’d spent the near whole of my life trying to fit in, figuring that what was important to others would become important to me. In real life, it didn’t work out that way. In real life, my values got tucked securely away in the core of my being, surrounded and protected by my fears. I’d finally gotten to a place of addressing my fears and seeing that they had good intentions, but that, ultimately, my core being needed to shine. That is to say, my Authentic self was ready to come out and play.

The thing about being ready to come out and play, though, is that playing is the same as practicing. And why do we practice? To get better. I stumbled in my first attempts at owning my Authenticity when I tried to be out with my father. Fear stepped in to say, See, I told you this stuff was hard. Let me take care of this, and you just sit back and be quiet. But my Authentic self was tired of the back seat, and even if she had to drive slow, she was going to drive, dammit.

When my father taught me how to play softball, he never expected me to “get it” right away. He never even expected me to be perfect, even after I’d been playing for 20 years. He never said “practice makes perfect,” he said, “practice makes better.” So I decided to practice.

I practiced speaking my mind with my father. I practiced saying “No,” to my fears. I practiced saying, “Yes,” to my Authentic self. I practiced being uncomfortable. I practiced telling my father how I felt. I practiced listening to him. I practiced having the same open mind with him that I asked him to have with me. I practiced being respectful of my father’s faith. I practiced being respectful of my own values. I practiced listening to my intuition. I practiced acting on that intuition, even when it was scary. I practiced being kind to my father, even when we disagreed. I simply practiced being me.

I wasn’t trying to be perfect. I was just trying to be me. And with all the practice, I couldn’t help but get better at it.

Gaining clarity and insight around what’s important to you is great. Better understanding your fears is helpful in better understanding yourself. Learning how to embrace your Authenticity is essential to personal growth. You can get all these things by reading up on blogs and books, by going to workshops and listening to teleseminars—by learning, by reading, by thinking, by talking. But all of that is in theory.

What matters is putting them all into action in your own real life. What matters is you. Not you being perfect, but you being you.

Your Authentic You.

Practice won’t make you perfect; practice will make you better. What are you waiting for?

Photo used under Creative Commons license via: / CC BY 2.0

{ 1 comment }

Isao April.17.2010 at 9.44 am

“Practice will make you better” I love this phrase. As a Japanese I am too familiar with the concept of perfectionism, where you start from being perfect and deduct a point each time you make a mistake. That is hardly an encouraging attitude. Now I have accepted that there is no perfection in life, I enjoy the process of building up one by one.. Thank you for sharing your stories, they are all inspiring and they also help me communicate better with my friends who are trying to, or had to, cope with their identities.

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