Authenticity! Now that’s a word commonly being thrown about in our culture. It’s a concept that demands we should know what it fully means and should know how to live it out. But I find it much more elusive than what most think. Much of my counseling and personal development coaching focuses on helping others rid themselves of false scripts and facades that continue to negatively play out in their lives.
Take Kim, for example. She continually finds herself in unfulfilled relationships with men devoid of emotion. Why the pattern? Why doesn’t she choose to change and find another type of man – an emotionally available one? When you are living a subconscious pattern, it’s much more difficult, if not nearly impossible, to change. For change to occur, first there has to be the desire to do something different – to move away from the familiar. Though the familiar isn’t always fulfilling, it’s what we know. And the KNOWN is very, very powerful. Second, is the journey of becoming self-aware. For Kim, it means recognizing that she was been seeking approval from men like her emotionally unavailable father.
What does that have to do with authenticity? Everything! Authenticity is living a life that is fully aware and fully intentional! It is being mindful of every decision you make. Sounds like hard work? It is. I took the self-awareness plunge some years back and though I had been a counselor for at least ten years by then, it was an eye opening experience. I wanted to slink back into my old familiar roles of pleasing the people around me, but something was calling me onward, leading me to a quiet place. A place I found to be sacred. A place where I asked the biggest questions of myself and eventually of God. This is where I learned that although my authenticity was completely my own, my actions affected others as well. I recognized the unhealthy life script I was living; I had to embrace my core values, to get to the “root” of who I was, so to speak, to live a truly free and loving life. On the journey of authenticity, the path may seem familiar, but your eyes actually open for the first time and you can see things in their truth.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T. S. Elliot
Whether you are just starting on this journey or an authentic expert please take a minute to contemplate these two questions.
- Who am I? List 5 adjectives that describe you.
- Is my life aligned with who I really am?
To Your Authentic Success,
*Photo by Matthew Pelto