For years, I misunderstood what authenticity meant. I used to wave it like a flag for all the wrong reasons. Authenticity meant to me a kind of “this is how I am and I’m going to shove it down your throat whether you like it or not.” Oh, boy, how wrong I was!
I made endless mistakes in the name of authenticity, in the shape of unsolicited advice, unrequested opinions and die hard honesty that was more about making my point over everything else than a commitment to the truth. It didn’t matter who I hurt with my behaviour, it didn’t matter if I was being toxic, because that was how I was!
Of course, that behaviour only took me so far. Then I went further in my journey, I started to become aware of my ways, and I started to work on bettering myself. I did all that wrong as well, and I got caught in some sort of people pleasing pattern that didn’t help either!
My journey to authenticity began after a rough time in my life when I realized that I had been trying to be someone I was not in order to gain acceptance. I used to hide that I am a Tarot reader because I was concerned about what others were going to think. I used to give, and give, and give and think that it was good, that it made me good, only to discover that I was chasing recognition and good person points and that it was about as genuine as a three dollar coin. There were many more things, of course, but for the sake of keeping this post short, I’ll be just giving a few examples!
My first step towards authenticity was when I fully embraced my profession and decided that I would answer with the truth every time that I was asked what do I do for a living. The epiphany came to me after deciding that I wasn’t going to succeed if I kept being ashamed or worried about how others would perceive what I am passionate about! And when I did, things started to shift in that area!
Of course, that was not all, but it was the first step towards a greater realization. The realization that authenticity is not about how you are, but about who you are. Your ways can change – in fact, if your ways are toxic, they should change! – but who you are is the essence worth setting boundaries for!
To show up authentically is to be in alignment with your values, to act according with those values, to speak according with those values. It takes commitment to yourself, and yeah, sometimes you will fail, but each time it will be easier and easier! Authenticity and all that it brings into your life is worth the effort!
Your confidence, your performance, your relationships, your level of satisfaction… Everything will shift when you chose to commit to authenticity! At this stage of my journey, I know that I want more of this, and if you get started, you will too!