Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It is about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest.
The choice to let our true selves be seen.
There are people who consciously practice being authentic, there are people who do not and there are the rest of us who are authentic on some days and not so authentic on other days. Most people have some self doubt or shame.
The idea that we can choose authenticity makes most of us feel both hopeful and exhausted. We feel hopeful because being real is something we value. Most of us are drawn to warm, down-to-earth, honest people, and we aspire to be like that in our own lives.
We feel exhausted because without even giving it too much thought, most of us know that choosing authenticity in a culture that dictates everything from how much we are supposed to weigh to what our houses are supposed to look like is a large undertaking.
Given the task at hand, living in a culture that wants you to "fit in" and "people pleaser" I decided I would define authenticity.
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.
Choosing authenticity means:
- Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
- Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle.
- Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.
Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving -- even when it is hard, even when we are wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we are afraid to let ourselves feel it.
Mindfully practicing authenticity daring our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives.
Brene Brown - The Gifts of Imperfection