In my journey the one word I have come to embrace and believe in is authenticity. Others can see right through BS – and often quite quickly. But it is authenticity that will resonate.
This meant a great shift in my thinking. I used to confuse honesty with authenticity. I used to hide behind the truth, but still have an agenda or a specific outcome I was manipulating. When I was training, I would “set up” the answers I wanted to receive. When I was speaking I would master the reaction I wanted and try to control the thought I wanted conveyed by the receiver.
Did this make me a bad person? Well, no. I still had a good heart and a great intention. But I had more going on underneath. A new confusion started to surface when I studied personal development more and more. A new way of thinking was eeking out to the outside. Suddenly I was uncomfortable.
This feeling was fear. I was scared. I was learning that I had to be true and honest with myself. I had to acknowledge and accept everything about me. I was taking 100% radical accountability for my life, which meant really thinking about how I do things, how I was changing, and that my life would not be the same. I had to accept the poor decisions that I made in my life. I didn’t have to be forever beat up by them, but I had to accept my responsibility in making them.
I had to reconcile my past to move into my new future. I was becoming the person I wanted to be even when no one was looking. I craved consistency and knew that I would find comfort in this new singularity. No more Lynn at work, Lynn with friends, Lynn the trainer, Lynn the speaker and Lynn alone at home. Just one Lynn. One transparent and authentic person.
I discovered that all my experiences – good, bad and mediocre, created me. All of me. I could no longer compartmentalize different aspects of myself. It became impossible for me to manipulate situations and feel good about it.
Then I started to wonder if people would relate to this new me. I didn’t have different “faces” I could put on anymore. Although I convinced myself I was doing it for the benefit of my audience, I was really doing it to hide me. A bare me that was truly transparent. A 24/7 me that was just me.
While I stepped into sharing this ‘new’ me, I had deep reservations. I even had great excuses. I mean, this system was working just fine for me. People complimented my talks and I got great reviews as a trainer. But like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, the true me – the authentic me was way more brilliant and dynamic and engaging. People not only complimented me on my talk, but they stayed in touch letting me know how they were doing and how they were continuing to carry on my message. I continued to get great reviews as a trainer, but now former students were recommending me and reaching out when they needed guidance. My level of interaction grew immensely.
Then I realized that one of the main, if not THE main reason for doing what I do had really come to fruition. My level if impact had increased exponentially. And the difference was authenticity. My impact comes from sharing me – my stories, my challenges, my ups and my downs. I was transparent and people could relate to the sharing of my journey. People could see themselves in my path and could see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. They could see that if I can make changes, live my dream and be impactful that they could too.
I now enjoy sharing my story. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned so far, what my goals are and what lessons I have learned.
I share my story thus far with you. It is far from perfect and it is far from every goal reached. But I know that through my authenticity I can reach deeper and not only speak to a person, but reach their spirit. That is a privilege and an honor!
Now I ask you – are you living with authenticity? Or do you still find yourself laughing with the gang when someone sarcastically makes comments about someone else in the room? Are you living your truth? Or are you hiding yourself because you are worried what others at the table might think?
Believe me, I know this is a great shift in thinking. There are times when you will need to rely on your intuition, especially if those closer to you may not understand your transformation. Here are some tips to live in authenticity:
- Know your goals. If you cannot articulate what you are hoping to accomplish how can anyone relate?
- Understand that you do not have to rock the boat to live in authenticity. If the group you are in are not behaving in a manner aligned with your truth you do not need to make a huge grandiose stand. Just find a gentle way to remove yourself from the situation.
- Be willing to be vulnerable. As you share you will strike a chord in someone’s soul. They may tell you or they may not. Be satisfied that offering your authenticity is enough.
- Keep modalities that keep you motivated near you. You might feel from time to time that you are the only one experiencing growing pains. Keep quotes, sayings, images, reading close so you can refer to those when you feel like you need assistance to stay on your course.
If you ever wonder if you are on the right track, ask yourself if you are living in a manner that brings you joy and fulfillment. Check in and see if you are living your truth. Are you behaving in an authentic way – even when no one is looking?