It’s Time To BeReal
BeReal: The app that has taken society by storm! Everyone who has the app “BeReal” knows that feeling of excitement that springs through our bodies when we see the notification pop up on our phone that reads, “It’s Time To BeReal”. In that two-minute countdown we are given, we rush to take a photo of ourselves and what we are doing for all of our friends to see. For those of you who don’t know, the app BeReal is a photo-sharing app that sends out an alert once a day for its users to show their friends and followers what they are doing in real-time. The app was made as a platform that focuses on authenticity as it doesn’t have any filters, photoshop, etc. Just the users, being real, showing what they are doing at any given time. I personally love the entire concept of BeReal and how it gives my friends and myself a look into each other’s unfiltered lives. The app has changed the perspectives of many on how celebrities, influencers, and even our closest friends and families present themselves on social media and in everyday life. Unfortunately, BeReal only goes off once a day, so that raises my question, “What would happen if we were our most authentic selves all of the time?”
When I was first elected as the Kansas FFA State Vice-President, I got in my own head wayyyy too much about what a “perfect state officer” had to be. I thought I had to make myself seem like I was perfect all of the time. I thought I had to make everyone around me believe that I had no flaws or struggles. I thought I had to be someone I was not. For the first few weeks, I wrestled with my own thoughts on how I could possibly make myself fit into this perfect mold of what a state officer was. However, this so-called “perfect state officer mold” was only something I created, something that didn’t even exist. In fear of members seeing me mess up, fail, make mistakes, and more, I lost sight of myself and my purpose in the FFA. The reality hit me that the members, the supporters, and everyone around me didn’t want me to be a “perfect state office”, they just wanted me to be Kirsten.
As humans, we naturally spend long periods of time trying to be like other people, trying to fit in, and trying to make others believe we are something we aren’t. Doing this can be extremely damaging, especially in leadership roles. Comparison kills authenticity and can deteriorate our self-imagine. As leaders, we don’t have to be someone else and we certainly don’t have to be perfect. As a leader in the FFA, the only expectation is that you come as you are; the version of yourself that is genuine, authentic, and real. Your FFA jacket shouldn’t be worn as a mask or disguise for who you truly are. Our FFA jackets are ordered and made to fit US perfectly, with OUR names embroidered on the front of them, why would we ever wear them just to be someone we aren’t? It’s okay to not be perfect, it’s okay to be unique, and it’s okay to be you. When you join the FFA, there isn’t a checklist of things you have to do to earn your place. You earn your place by simply being real and being you. There is no reason to be anything but yourself because that is the person who belongs, the person who is welcome, and the person who is going to make a difference.
Kansas FFA, it’s time to be real and it’s time to be you!