I Can Be Authentic While Embracing Change and Growing from Who I Was


For me, it is important to be authentically myself. Do you know what I mean?

Really think about it for a moment. Are you authentic? We’ve all heard something along the lines of, “Be your authentic self,” but what does that even mean? Who’s to say what is and isn’t authentic, anyhow?

By definition, to be authentic is to be of undisputed origin, or genuine. It’s a pretty open-ended definition if you ask me, and certainly open to interpretation. Your view of authenticity may vary from mine, yet they can both be genuine, honest views.

Time to time, I worry about what people think of me. Who doesn’t? I worry that even though I know I’m being true to myself, others will think I’m not. I worry that people will decide I’m not being authentic if I’m not who I was five or even ten years ago. Newsflash, I’M NOT THAT PERSON ANYMORE!

shadow, hair

I’m not who I was even two years ago. What I am is authentic to my current self.

My guess is that people think if you change your views on a matter, or change who you are, that you have become fake. A fake version of who you really are, as if you are trying to play the role of someone else. I understand the pressure social media puts on us to act and look a certain way. Social media gives us a curated highlight reel of a person’s life, so it’s easy to forget that our friends are multidimensional people who grow and change.

In order to grow and mature, change is inevitable. Change is hugely challenging for many of us, and I’ve never been more proud of myself than I am today. It took me a very long time to get to this place of comfort, but I achieved it by embracing change and being authentic. I share my emotions quite openly, and anyone who knows me knows that what you see quite literally is what you get. I’m both blunt and reserved. I’m both awkward and completely relaxed.

The thing is, people seem really uncomfortable with how others change. I’ve had to remind myself over and over that I’m allowed to change my views on how I want to raise my children. I’m allowed to change my mind about how I want to be a mother, a wife, and a woman.

I’m allowed to change my mind and embrace change and still be authentic!

woman, book, self help

As a mother, one of my top goals is to ensure that my children stay true to themselves and have faith in their beliefs. I work hard to raise them to be respectful and moral individuals, and to help them set values they believe in. I’m always reminding my kids that it is ok to speak freely, but encourage them to voice their opinions with tact and compassion. I make sure they understand that they can grow and stay authentic to their own beliefs and values, even if that means someday outgrowing my version of who I want them to be.

As a wife, I’m challenged daily with the realization that I’m not who I thought I would be. I don’t dote on my husband. Thankfully, he doesn’t expect me to. Our household is run with love and mutual respect. We have both changed over the years, and thankfully we have grown together not apart. We are both still authentic to ourselves, and our marriage is stronger for it.

As a woman, I believe there are no set rules for who I have to be. I believe in changing my mind once, or a dozen times. I embrace every opportunity for learning something new. As a woman, I can be a different person today than I was 10 years ago, without either version of me being false. Being my authentic self is being true to whoever I am. It’s that simple.

I am allowed to want to be something more and to grow and change without being defined as inauthentic.

sign that says change

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that as long as I am changing to become the best version of myself, I should be proud. Change is a good thing, just as growth is a good thing. I will not allow the fear that others have of change, impact my desire to change.

Maybe these are the ramblings of a woman who is ready to shout from the rooftops that, “I AM ALLOWED TO CHANGE MY MIND.” Or a woman who wants every other mom, wife, and woman to know that it’s ok to change and grow as an individual. That maybe, just maybe, we can all be authentic without being accused of being false.

Can you be authentic and still embrace change

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Halie Manley
Halie is a Vermonter born and raised, with a passion for travel, beauty, style, and life. She currently resides on the eastern side of the state with her husband and two kids (a hockey-focused son and a ballet-loving daughter.) She attended Colby-Sawyer College and Philadelphia University, then returned to Colby-Sawyer where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Her family has a running joke that Halie was on her own version of Amazing Race (selecting a college edition.) While she loves to visit cities, she discovered that she can’t live in one! She best describes herself as quirky and sometimes awkward, constantly looking to learn, a makeup and skincare enthusiast, and also an avid lover of coffee, tea, local craft beers, ice cream, HGTV, and basically anything that sparks joy! She is ridiculously comfortable in her own shoes (probably because she ditched heels!) You can find more about her on her blog, Our Small Life Home.


  1. Amen, Halie! Great insight – change and growth doesn’t mean your not authentic anymore. It means that your self-definiton is evolving and therefore your authenticity with it.

    • Thank you! It’s challenging enough to change as an adult, and the worry of how we are perceived only adds to that challenge. I’m a firm believer that your authenticity grows and evolves just as you do. They truly go hand in hand!


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