In today’s world, you have most likely heard the term “authentic self.” It is about being your true self, accepting your entire self, and showing up entirely as YOU. It has become a revolution or movement championing individuality. Instead of praising the collective good, we are now celebrating our differences more than ever. It is not to say that the goal of the collective interest is wrong or evil; it is simply just a different perspective. When we take a moment to notice our differences and the world of others around us, we consistently will find that we are more similar than we are different. Yes, there will always be differences because you are the only YOU! However, it is our similarities that form a connection between two people.

Forbes defines authenticity as “intentionally aligning your thoughts, behaviors, and habits with who you are, and then living in alignment within the context of real life” (Bogert, 2019). Of course, that is in the workplace, but authenticity does not have to stop at work. Interestingly, Psychology Today defined authenticity as “to act in ways that show your true self and how you feel…rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself, you express your whole self genuinely” (Davis, 2019).

I can’t help but find it interesting that both articles were published in 2019. Why was authenticity at the forefront of people’s minds? What was going on? Glad you asked! 😉

2019 Highlight Real

  • U.S. President Donald Trump Impeached
  • Japan Emperor Akihito abdicated the throne (1st time in 200 years)
  • Great Britain Prime Minister Theresa May resigned
  • BREXIT – Great Britain’s exit from European Union
  • Government Protests in Hong Kong
  • College Admissions Cheating Scandal
  • Notre Dame Church Burns
  • Amazon Wildfires

While it was no match to 2020, it was still a year of significant change. Many leaders’ positions were challenged, or they simply stepped down. Identity crisis not only for the leader, but also for the nations they lead. Countries changed affiliations – Great Britain left the EU, and the Chinese protested government regulations. Who could forget the college admissions scandal? As if the pressure of being a high school senior was not enough, imagine your parents telling you, “honey, you are not smart enough to get into X school, so we will pay your way in.” What a way to set a kid up for success. Cutting their self-esteem and forcing them to attend a school that may not actually be the right fit for them, hence making them feel even worse. The college admissions process is far from perfect, but there is a reason for the procedure. Not to mention the qualified candidate spots you are taking. Not cool. Unfortunately, it did not stop there; wildfires in the Amazon paired with the Notre Dame fire put quite a haze on Brazil and France. Yes, they can rebuild, but that does not take away from the pain endured and the lost beauty. Quite a lot going on in 2019!

As anyone can see, many changes took place over that year. People were unsure what their truth meant while changes were made around them. We forget that while we do change over time, we do not have to change due to the changes around us. We have the choice to stay true to ourselves. It is not an easy choice, but it is critical if you want to live authentically. Don’t just speak your truth; remember to live it too. Actions really do speak louder than words. It is one thing to tell someone you will do something, and something completely different to just do something without prefacing it. There’s a lot to authenticity, and it is not without its difficulties. However, most of us find that those difficulties are worth enduring if the result helps lead us to self-acceptance and happiness.

Resources

Bogert, B. (2019, December 30). Council post: What does it mean to be our authentic self in the workplace and in life? Forbes. Retrieved May 16, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/12/30/what-does-it-mean-to-be-our-authentic-self-in-the-workplace-and-in-life/?sh=260fcaec5c72

Davis, T. (2019, April 15). Develop authenticity: 20 ways to be a more authentic person. Psychology Today. Retrieved May 16, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201904/develop-authenticity-20-ways-be-more-authentic-person