The courage to be authentic

(2 minute read) 

In today’s world, we’re encouraged to be authentic.  People expect us to be authentic.  So, in order to increase self-awareness and understand our authentic self, we explore our:

  • Stories
  • Values
  • Motivations
  • Strengths
  • The decisions we’ve made in the past, and more

We reflect on moments in our life and our responses – head, heart and gut – at the time and now, collecting data to understand our authenticity.

Additionally, we seek feedback from others, inquiring into their experiences and perceptions of us, collecting further data on self that helps us understand our full story.

It takes courage to explore and to be authentic – we may have reservations about what we might discover in our stories; perhaps the environment in which we find ourselves doesn’t value authenticity and may pose a barrier.

Given it may be difficult, why be courageous and why be authentic?  Because the benefits of courage include increased positive energy, empathy and goal attainment.  And because the benefits of authenticity include confidence and clarity; increased motivation and engagement; and increased happiness.  Imagine the potential amplified effect of courage and authenticity together!

So, here are 5 tips to courageously explore your authentic self:

  1. Be curious
  2. Inquire and listen – to others and to self
  3. Acknowledge and accept self
  4. Honour what is validated for you and what you discover
  5. Be you … after all, everyone else is taken (if I might paraphrase Oscar Wilde)

I encourage you to courageously sit with whatever may come up for you in your exploration.  Share your stories, thoughts and feelings with someone who values your authenticity; with someone who you value.  Just by listening, this person or people will help you make sense of your exploration.  By reflecting and listening to self, you will make more sense of your exploration and stories. When you accept self and honour all that has been before, that is liberating.  Your stories make you the unique individual you are.  And that is authentic; in fact, that is pretty awesome.


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