Brene Brown (researcher) stated in her book, The Gifts of Imperfections, that authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re 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; and
- Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.
The ability to stand in our truth without fear of judgment and shame, is not only empowering, it provides freedom to fully embrace our full potential to manifest our environment and connect with others. Practicing authenticity can feel like a daunting choice –there’s risk involved in putting your true self out in the world. There’s even more risk in hiding yourself and your gifts from the world. Sacrificing who we are for the sake of what other people think just isn’t worth it. Yes, there can be authenticity growing pains for the people around us, but in the end, being true to ourselves is the best gift we can give the people we love.
To be nobody but myself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else-means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting. – E.E. Cummings
Authored by: Raymond Castilleja Jr., LCSW, MBA, MHSM