When times are tough it’s tempting to react emotionally instead of authentically. Authentic responses come from your heart and your head and your relationships. Authentic responses are unique, practical, and vital. It’s tempting to wait for permission or support to be vital. It’s tempting to give in to discouragement when obstacles get overwhelming. It takes courage to remember that the world needs your vitality, especially in tough times. It takes courage to become your honest, full, and balanced self. Courageous authenticity is making a unique contribution to our world.
Honesty means giving voice to your experience and finding the deeper meaning in the world around you. It isn’t as simple as not lying. There are circles of honesty that begin in this moment and ripple out to your relationship with our world. Honesty starts with being aware of what is happening in your body, heart, mind, and soul. Honesty expands with your relationships to your family, your friends, your community, your nation, and our world. There is nothing easy about this honesty. It means courageously looking at uncomfortable feelings, fears, and truths. Honesty is about you in relationship to us.
Authenticity is being your boldest, most eccentric and most vulnerable self. No one can tell you how to be authentic. You must find your unique strengths, energy, and eccentricities for yourself. You need to find the courage to face your blind-spots, mistakes, and weaknesses. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has activities that energize them and others that drain them. Making space to express the bold, eccentric, and vulnerable parts of ourselves unleashes our inner wisdom and collective intelligence. Hiding parts of ourselves gives us less energy and wisdom to solve problems when we need it most.
Do you know what makes you special?
Are you sharing it with the world?
Are you encouraging others to share with you?
Authenticity is a balance of self-care, resiliency, and power. Self-care are the things you do to care for your body, brain, family, and business. Sometimes they are unglamorous basics like going to the doctor and cleaning up the house. Hopefully you have some time to nurture your inner child with play and comfort. Resiliency practices are the things you do so that you bend instead of break when you face obstacles. If you express your eccentricity you are likely to get ridicule or resentment. Resiliency is how you protect yourself, while being open and bold all at the same time. Power is the work you do that gives you both strength and energy. When you’re making a difference in the world while caring for your family, and receiving strength and energy you can face overwhelming odds with patience and persistence.
Authenticity and respect cannot be separated. You won’t feel respected if you feel you have to hide parts of your authenticity. You can’t be your boldest, most eccentric, and most vulnerable self while you’re hurting others. Respect yourself. Find courageous ways to make choices to be your honest, full, and balanced self. The world is depending on you!
Here are three books I recommend if you need help discovering what makes you special.
- Bolles, Richard N. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. New York: Random House, 2015.
- Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1992.
- Sher, Barbara. I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was. New York: Dell Trade Paperback, 1994.
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