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“Chillitude” Unplugged – How I Am Going To Live An Authentic Life

I recently returned from a visit to two incredible friends. The type that you wish you had in your life. Our gatherings always seem to unlock profound conversations, shifting my perspective and enriching my understanding of myself and the world. Gratitude is perhaps my deepest takeaway. Gratitude for that precious safe space they create, where vulnerabilities find room to stretch, and honesty reigns without judgment. This time, over homemade meals and good wine, the very concept of ‘authenticity’ surfaced, begging honest exploration and inviting me to ponder the importance of being true to oneself – with all the imperfections that entails.

Man in front of a yellow window on a blue backgroud


Act one: Conformity and its Hidden Discontent

My first act in this grand play of life was a study in conformity. Like a carefully trained dancer, I mastered the expected steps, mimicking the motions deemed 'acceptable' by my family and the world around me. It was a performance marked by diligence, by meeting invisible standards. But what did the audience – including myself, I must say – never see? Me. There was no space for my awkward truths, my messy heart, my sometimes outrageous dreams.


The curtain on that performance finally, defiantly fell. It wasn't an easy transition; change rarely is. Yet, I vowed my second act would be written and played out on my terms. Authenticity would be my guiding light, and purpose my ever-evolving compass. In forging this path, I found my calling. My new career felt like the first true expression of my soul's yearning. But even here, where I thought I'd shed the old ways, whispers of conformity haunted me.


Entrepreneurial Pressures and the Illusion of "Shoulds"

In this entrepreneurial world, surrounded by those seeking to build careers like my own, 'best practices' whispered like a haunting siren song. "Establish a meticulously scheduled newsletter. Cultivate a picture-perfect social media presence. Blog religiously." At first, these seemed like helpful guidelines. Then, with every step down that path, the unease grew.


I feel myself fading into the background, transforming into a curated image rather than a wholehearted human. Conformity wraps its tentacles tighter, and that bright light of authenticity begins to dim. Every effort to be seen feels like another brick in a wall obscuring who I truly am.


Filtered Facades and the Soul-sucking Comparison Trap

Social media amplifies this pressure. With carefully staged photos and perfectly crafted captions, we become performers instead of people. Every post becomes a subtle audition, hoping to garner the most likes, comments, and follows. Social media promises connection, but often distorts it. While glimpses of true lives peek through, it's dominated by highlight reels, not honest struggles. The result? A constant, exhausting striving for impossible ideals.


In a wisdom-packed and humorous book I recently read – “Melasudismoby Pablo Alvarez, – I found a much-needed perspective shift. It introduces the concept of ‘chillitude’ (or at least that’s the best translation I could come up with) and suggests relaxing this relentless self-optimization, choosing contentment over comparison. We feast on a steady diet of curated lives on display, becoming the measuring stick against which we inevitably come up short. This dissatisfaction fuels a machine designed to profit from our insecurity.

Girl with blue face partially hidden behind a yellow wall

My Authentic Turning Point: Embracing Vulnerability

Even with this awareness, breaking the cycle seems daunting. But it's amidst this mindset that my clients offer a shocking lesson. Breakthroughs aren't coming from polished advice spouted like I've swallowed a manual. No, magic happens when the professional mask cracks, when I confess a stumble I've had on a similar path. Anxieties become less something to disguise and more a relatable point of connection.


My clients offer living proof of a truth I've grasped intellectually but haven't deeply internalized yet. It's like one of the foundational pillars of my worldview comes crashing down: expertise alone doesn't fuel meaningful change. The real catalysts are ‘vulnerability’ and ‘authenticity’. The traits I've labeled "weaknesses" for most of my life – and worked tirelessly to hide – along with the supposed "strengths" of always being right or having all the answers, no longer serve me. They fit a societal construct with little room for genuine connection.

The realization breaks through like the gasp of fresh air after being held underwater for far too long. Suddenly, I'm no longer drowning under the weight of self-imposed perfection. It's like learning you could relax all along and still effortlessly stay afloat. From this new perspective, a vast horizon opens up – beauty thrives both under the surface and in the sparkling, open air. No need for needless struggle or striving to remain solely within artificially defined realms.


Redefining Success on our own Terms

Our society has subtly warped the idea of success. Being "someone" now requires building a visible brand, attracting hordes of followers, and projecting an image of effortless accomplishment. It's easy to slip into tying our self-worth with superficial things: likes, shares, and comments. We seek external validation through these fleeting forms of online engagement. But does this path yield satisfaction, or an ever-shifting target with endless chasing?


So, I thought, what if I create my own metrics for success? Metrics where meaningful growth and connection with others take precedence over relentless self-promotion? Authentic success relies on different foundations. I try more and more to keep these elements in mind:


  • Alignment with purpose: If my work and lifestyle feel in harmonious sync with my values and what deeply matters to me, that's something no audience size can replicate. Alignment breeds personal fulfillment that goes beyond external praise.

  • Honest feedback and healthy boundaries: The healthy boundaries I establish enable me to provide candid and valuable feedback. The true success? Seeing those I work with experience breakthroughs and positive transformations. It's proof of a collaborative space where growth happens.

  • Integrity of self: Each time I act in concert with who I truly are, that builds genuine strength. It allows me to show up fully for those I support, offering truly helpful insight and connection.

Focusing on these aspects doesn't dismiss the realities of running a business or creating online content. Rather, it shifts my priorities, prioritizing fulfillment beyond visibility alone. And here lies a critical change.

Man meditating in a blue and yellow environment

Reclaiming Presence: My Path to Unfiltered Authenticity 

The persistent lure of social media apps is a familiar siren call. Mindlessly tapping them open has become a reflex, devouring spare moments until those moments stretched into stolen hours. My vibrant inner life wither with each mindless scroll, relationships reduced to pixelated snapshots. This has to change. My path toward an "unfiltered" life has already begun, but today, the shift intensifies.


To free myself from digital entanglement, here are the specific changes happening as of today:


  • App eviction: Social media apps have been deleted from my phone, limiting access to my laptop for primarily work-related engagement.

  • Notifications jailbreak: Every non-essential beep, vibrate, and digital intrusion is permanently silenced. No longer a slave to my device, I now choose when to interact.

  • Some key questions: Before to unlock the screen, I will ask myself: The essence of these questions is not about demonizing social media. They offer a moment of pause and consideration, inviting a break from automatic behavior and a chance to engage more intentionally with technology as a tool, not a driver.

    • Does this fulfill a true need, or is it a way to avoid something else?

    • Does the need involve connecting with someone, finding a specific piece of information, or fulfilling a task directly connected to your goals?

    • Or is it rooted in escaping boredom, delaying an uncomfortable but necessary task, or numbing difficult emotions?


This isn't about becoming isolated. It's about creating a digital landscape that serves, rather than enslaves. Removing the ease of phone-based access unlocks genuine moments of presence. Time now exists with space to nourish, not exhaust:


  • Time for self-reflection: Meditation and focused journaling replace the social media void. My once-squelched inner thoughts return, offering clarity and fresh insights.

  • A renewed thirst for learning: Engaging documentaries and educational videos fill pockets of time once surrendered to scrolling. This fuels my personal growth.

  • Movement to revitalize: In movement, I experience a joyful connection to my own body (and its transformation) and an energy for life far beyond what screens can offer.

  • The return of the physical book: My bookshelf beckons anew. Pages turn under touch, and words are absorbed more deeply without the interlude of digital temptations.

These shifts won't magically reshape my entire life overnight. Each action, however seemingly small, reclaims precious energy and control. Focus returns, not through disconnection, but by reshaping connection on my own terms. Social media plays a part in my reality, but my life no longer revolves around it. Ultimately, this is about the power of being truly present. Authentic connection takes time and focus – things social media often undermines. It's a daily choice to prioritize experiences and people over pixels. The rewards are far too vast to sacrifice to any fleeting online illusion.

Yellow couch in a blue and white icy desert

Conclusion: Your Invitation to Authentic Change in Life

The craving for authenticity often runs hand-in-hand with an exhausting internal battle against conformity. Curated feeds and "best practices" obscure who we are meant to be. What might your journey look like if we loosened our grip on a perfectly airbrushed image, replacing it with an honest embrace of imperfection?


Entrepreneurs, and simply those struggling to navigate this chaotic world, are bombarded with blueprints for success. Yet, it's often within our flaws, struggles, and hard-won wisdom that the most genuine guidance for others awaits. This shift from polished and calculated to raw and connected isn't a sign of weakness. It's how real growth happens.


Our time for redefining authenticity is now. I invite you to write your own rules, reclaim your stories, and show up in the world with your unique light – untamed, unfiltered, and unafraid. It's within those vibrant truths and flaws that the most transformative and human connection blossoms – both with those around us, and most importantly, with ourselves.

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