Oprah’s Golden Globes speech brought the room to its feet and may just be a defining moment of 2018. Oprah’s voice rang out clear “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” That statement resonates deeply within my spirit. As I’ve begun living a more authentic life in the last 10 or so years, I have never felt more empowered and free. Unfortunately authenticity has become a buzz word and many people misunderstand the heart of authentic living, so let’s debunk a few of those myths.
One common myth about living authentically is that we present ourselves to the world with “This is me and I am not changing.” Though authenticity is being seen and known (warts and all) and congruently living our beliefs and values, we need to ensure we are operating out of wholeheartedness instead of pain. If we view our true self now as being the best we’ll ever be, set in concrete and never in need of changing, we become closed to self awareness and personal growth. To be authentic we must brave vulnerability which includes us exploring and sharing our imperfections. As we share our imperfections, we are admitting not all parts of us are diamonds. Don’t settle for being concrete when there is possibility of being shined like a diamond. Be proud of who you are but don’t limit who you are becoming. Growth is a big part of authenticity.
Myth two is when we think authenticity is speaking our thoughts without a filter. To always speak ones mind and share our opinion isn’t necessarily authentic living. Sharing opinions without the filters of kindness, wisdom and timely-ness in place is not being true to one self. Sometimes speaking our opinion is an insecurity seeking validation. Sometimes silence or agreeing to disagree and allowing another’s hostile opinion to flow by without debate is being your truest self. Authenticity is letting go of what people think, not being rocked by differences and being unshakeable in our belief about ourselves at our core.
Myth three is believing authenticity means constantly regurgitating all our private life to others. Yes, we all need to share our story but sharing with a select few is wise. Healthy authenticity recognises when to be vulnerable and share and when to remain silent. Authenticity is like learning a new dance with new partners. First we build trust, and then we can leap and pirouette in our tracksuit pants in safety. And sometimes we must recognise that a solo dance can also be a sacred and life fulling moment.
I want to finish with a quote from Brené Brown
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means: cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassionate comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.”
I want to encourage you to take one small step today to find your true core and then live and lead from that place.