What is Authenticity?Feb 01, 2022
By way of the dictionary first word - authentic/honest
At times, it has frustrated me that this quality, authentic, otherwise known as genuine, has been so uncontrollable for me to be - but I feel like it’s also something I take pride in.
In 2019, I attended a Power Story Event in La Jolla, California, with the Bo Eason Experience. It was my turn on stage. I had only one sentence to say. Instead of saying my carefully crafted and rehearsed sentence, I burst into laughter.
I laughed harder because my sentence was about laughing, and I thought that was even funnier when the audience finds out. My anticipation of making them laugh overtook me. I couldn’t control myself, so I turned around and tried to motion someone else to go.
But Bo called me back, calmed me down, and asked me to say my sentence.
“At my dad’s funeral, I burst into laughter,” I said. Then everyone “got it” and laughed as well.
Bo said to me, “No one has ever done that on my stage before .Walked away like that. “You don’t have a fake bone in your body, do you? “
I received that as one of the biggest compliments in my life. In a search to find my authentic voice, I’d been seeking externally to find it, when in fact, it’s my superpower - the thing I was born with. You have it too.
The struggle & ugly comes from not listening to it. Authenticity.
At times, I have wanted to lie or be invisible when I was feeling less than okay. People see right through me. What’s wrong? If I have to answer, I will ugly cry at the same time, and you will feel bad for me. My tears represent cleansing and release. They are viewed as troubled, agony, depression when actually I’m more than ok when I’m crying- BUT YES it looks ugly.
At times I've unfiltered myself, and I've accidentally been offensive.
I've been scolded for my honesty; I’ve lost friendships.
I have broken down in tears in places I've wanted to stay strong. I burst into laughter at most inappropriate times.
I've said things that people haven’t been ready to receive.
When someone says, “Be honest, tell me your opinion,” it scares me. I've learned how to be honest with just the right amount of sugar coating.
Sugarcoating waters down the delivery and, at times, may seem less authentic.
I speak my mind. If I'm uncomfortable, I say it. If I disagree or agree, I say it. If I have a problem with someone, I discuss it. If someone has a problem with me, I want to know why so I can fix it. Or, in some cases, correct or be corrected in my opinions. There’s always room to open my mind and widen my perspective.
Authenticity is truth - it's the undeniable truth. It makes people feel comfortable around you. It makes you feel happy. It means you are following your moral compass, letting your muse guide you, and letting go of external opinions.
Looking inside for the answers. Honest, childlike almost. Authenticity is brave. It's embracing your differences, your stories and beliefs and sharing when called on.
You can feel when you are being inauthentic. It breathes and feeds an ugly feeling. That feeling can keep you stuck and unhappy.
Everyone else may feel good doing something, but you don't. You were told you just need to suck it up, do more, get uncomfortable - it's just fear.
“Get over the fear,”
“Read another book,”
“You will never be good at this unless you hustle hard. “
But what if you hate it? It feels bad to you? It makes you feel stuck. It's someone else's authentic, not yours. There's nothing wrong with you.
Authenticity is being brave enough to pull away from a toxic pack, look inward with honesty and trust your intuition.
If I'm helping a client tap into her inner calling [authentic voice] the first thing we do is look at where she is in life in all of her parts.
An authentic voice is part of the harmony in the life ecosystem. Where are the pieces in her life and business that feel anxious, ugly, or stuck. We explore those, her pinch points and triggers. Then I help her unravel the solutions. Authenticity comes from you, not from others.
One of the things I remind myself and my clients is to start where they are. Otherwise, we are robbing ourselves of the authentic growth and transformation that leads to success.
There are many pros out there that have built their empires on teaching people “what not to do” or how to “avoid all the mistakes” - They are good people with generous intentions BUT It can rob a person of that very thing that made the person elevate to where they are now - The discovery zone - or ugly part. The "shortcuts "are in the work you do and the missteps along the way when you learn something new.
For any idea in motion, there has to be a rough draft, practice, redos, corrections - Waiting until it’s perfect or jumping too far ahead in hopes to speed the end goal can end up feeling inauthentic.
Everyone DESERVES their authentic through line because it’s the part that’s always skimmed over that is the key to the authenticity and flow that they are seeking.
You have to practice to move.
You have to move to grow.
You have to grow to succeed.
You have to succeed to build a habit.
You have to build a habit to pursue.
You have to pursue with an authentic map.
But first - You have to believe in yourself, which involves checking in on your uglies.
Truth can feel ugly- when admitting to ourselves, we don’t like something about ourselves, we stand at the crossroads of staying there or meeting ourselves where we are and taking a step on our intuitive path.
My dad always said to me, “Karen, if you don’t like your job or your situation, it’s nobody’s fault, and you are the only one that can do something about it.
Responsibly plan your exit strategy instead of making everyone around you miserable. You won’t be happy, and nobody deserves that energy from you.
It’s okay to change course. You do nobody any favours staying miserable where you are. Find something that makes you feel better before you quit, then respectfully give notice to the people who are affected by your decision.”
Those are words I’ve aspired to live by.
What makes you feel out of place?
What makes you feel at home?
I believe growth lives right in the middle of those two feelings.
Thoughts?? Comments?? I'd love to hear from you!