We live in a culture of appearances. Think, for a moment, about how many people you know — including yourself — who are constantly striving to project a certain image in order to impress, to communicate or even to connect with others.

When it comes to social media, when is the last time you posted a photo that reflects your reality? Whether it’s a filter you used to enhance the aesthetic, or an image that is more of a momentary glimpse of time than an accurate representation of your life, we select and post photos that we want others to base their perceptions upon. And while this may seem benign enough, when you consider that social media is a mere microcosm of the world we live in, the implications become a little more meaningful.

We have been conditioned to put on a façade when we want to give off a certain impression, or to tell people exactly what they want to hear. But in the long run, this effort to be anyone other than your authentic self is actually counterintuitive. Because here’s the thing – no matter how agreeable, how likable or how admirable you come off, if it’s not coming from a place of absolute truth and sincerity, then it doesn’t really hold much weight. And you will be even further away from cutting the cords to these illusions and truly accepting and embracing who you are at your core.

The great John Wooden once said: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are…the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

Your true character is revealed in the details, in the seemingly trivial things. And it’s what we say and what we do when we act from our core self that really matters.

So who are you when no one is looking? Who are you at your core? This isn’t meant to pass judgment or to chastise. It’s simply meant to bring awareness to how you present yourself in different situations, and then ask yourself, “How can I be better…”

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