I love inspirational songs, books, and sayings. When I saw Jen Sincero's You're A Badass, I had to pick it up. Megan Trainer's Me Too became my morning alarm (if you don't know it, listen to the chorus). I love Katy Perry's Roar and This Is Me from the Greatest Showman brings a tear to my eyes every time I hear it.
What do all of these songs and book title have in common? They are all about owning who you are and boldly living it in the world. Being unapologetically you. However, this is not always an easy task. In fact, most of us struggle with being 100% ourselves.
In a Forbes article by Kathy Caprino entitled "Let's Face It - We're Deathly Afraid of Authenticity," she noted "we’re taught it’s not safe to share the realness of our challenges, and we’re scared to be ostracized and judged. And from a societal perceptive, it isn’t safe. We are scorned, rejected and alienated when we do." Instagram and Facebook feeds are often filled with images that work to reflect a perfect life, so honestly doesn't feel like an option. But I feel that's changing. Can you feel it too?
She went on to note that truth-validating thought leaders like Brene' Brown "validate the idea that so many millions of people today feel disenfranchised as human beings – they feel alone with their pain and vulnerability and they desperately want that to change [that]."
What's become a differentiating factor in business, careers and leadership is authenticity. It's how you stand out and find your tribe. It can be hard to balance between authenticity, value based choices, and the environment in which you may find yourself. Herminia Ibarra calls it the Authenticity Paradox.
I've found that the keys to being you rest in your NOT doing two things: (1) comparing yourself to others, and (2) trying to please others. Both paths prevent you from discovering all that makes you incredible AND all that you can contribute to the world. I've written about the idea of authenticity and finding your voice before, because it's a topic near and dear to me. The wounds of my childhood made it challenging for and there are days where I continue to struggle with it. But I know the freedom that comes with being me.
In addition to the articles I've shared above, take a look at the one below on why it's so powerful and important to just be and do you.
Live, laugh and unapologetically shine!