“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.” ― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are Whether we are parents, business leaders, coaches, principals, or teachers, who we are is at the center of what we bring to our key relationships. If our relationships are to be healthy, they must be built upon trust. And there is no trust without authenticity; the ability to “show up and be real.” Being real about who we are, what we think or believe, how we may feel when faced with certain situations. Authenticity requires a certain amount of vulnerability. The ability to be real not only about our strengths, but also about or fears, doubts, and struggles. We are, after all, human beings, and authenticity is simply a way of acknowledging the very humanness of us. It is a way of extending an invitation to trust, learn from, and support each other. It’s a way of releasing ourselves from the burden of “play acting”; pretending to be someone we are not. That’s an exhausting existence! As a coach, I spend time building trusting, authentic relationships. This is paramount in coaching. In my opinion, this is at the heart of any meaningful relationship. Now, don’t get me wrong. Being authentic is not about revealing your “stuff” to everybody. It’s not about retelling your whole life story. It’s a practice steeped in intentionality. Intentionally being who you really are with those in which you are intentionally building meaningful relationships. Where, in your life, do you want to grow stronger, more meaningful relationships? In what current relationships do you feel that you are holding back your true self? Where is there lack of trust? Vulnerability? I encourage you to reflect on your key relationships and think about to what extent you bring your authentic self to said relationships. What’s the pay off? Now, think about where you can be your more authentic self. And then… get authentic. Get real.
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