Owning Your Authentic Self

Viola Davis was interviewed in the December 2020 issue of InStyle. The word ownership was bandied about.

Editor Laura Brown talked about how Davis has…command.

Viola Davis responded:

I don’t see that command…I think my greatest strength is my authenticity. If I try to channel some other being, I get lost…Growing up in Central Falls [R.I.] as the only kinky-haired chocolate-brown girl, I always was trying to channel the girls who had the Farrah Fawcett look. It had disastrous results. So the only thing I can do is channel my authenticity.

That is really a powerful tool because we spend our entire lives trying to get there. If you are projecting that, that’s what people are attracted to.”

Living your life as a pale imitation of someone else won’t win you fans. Be the full-bodied You.

Like Davis is, I’m 55. This is the year that changes everything. You’re halfway to 60.

Davis is right-on: it’s time to roll-up your sleeves and get to the work of being unapologetically You–the person you were meant to be in this lifetime.

I failed miserably chasing someone else’s dream when I was younger. I fix 36 as the magic number. It was the year I decided to become a mental health activist.

The point is:

Let’s not engage in self-hate or keep internalizing guilt that there’s something wrong with us because we don’t fit a mold.

You know this feeling–it’s when you wake up one day and regret that your life has gone by. You spent so much of it trying to change who you are to fit in and be liked and accepted.

Did this get you anywhere worth going?

The year is ending. As we enter 2021 it’s time to like ourselves without limits.

The journey in expressing our authenticity should be rewarded.

I’m not the same person I was when I was 22.

Are you?

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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