What the hell does that mean anyway? Seriously, I am a coach and what I really want to do is help women figure out who they are right now and I’m using terms that sound almost too far-fetched to be used in real life. It sounded good when I thought it up months ago, but now I am not so sure. What does it mean to be authentic? According to Webster Dictionary Authentic means:
- not false or imitation : real, actual an authentic cockney accent
- true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
I like True to One’s Own personality, spirit or character. This makes sense to me, and as I talk to more and more women, this is what they are feeling unsure about. Who are they really? Maybe finding one’s own personality, spirit or character has gotten lost in the midst of all of the other roles we take on through life – daughter, sister, mother, friend, wife, partner, employee, mentor, job title and so on.
Our lives are full – and most times overwhelming. One might feel oneself starting to wonder who they are in the midst of all of it. Each and every day you put on a mask – and oftentimes multiple masks depending on who you are with at the time or role you are currently need to play.
But who is under all of those masks – those facsimiles of ourselves that we show everyone else. Who looks back at you when you look into the mirror. Do you even know? Do you recognize her? Can you look her in the eyes and know her deep down? Maybe, maybe not and that is ok. I’ve been there, and I am there more often than not. Each and every day, something new happens and I question who my true self is under new circumstances. How can we stay “true to one’s own personality” all of the time? Society expects us to be a certain way… so do friends, family, co-workers, the media and more.
But here is what I know. You are there – sometimes you hide out because the day to day just sweeps over you like a tide and it is all you can do to come up for air. And so, you breathe and keep moving in whatever direction you have to. And each day blends into the next day and before you know it, you are not sure who you are anymore.
But what if….?
You took a deeper breath and stopped moving. Stopped being who other people wanted you to be and just sat with yourself. What if you let your thoughts run wild for a change – connected with what is really bugging you, the stuff you avoid thinking about or the things that you feel you can’t think about (like your dreams, goals or new points of view that are percolating) because that would take you away from doing what others expect of you? What if you did that?
Does thinking about doing that scare you? Letting your thoughts run wild – without caring about what other people may think of you or want of you. Imagine that… letting yourself be you, and being true to your own personality, spirit or character no matter what.
Feels strange doesn’t it. But at the same time, it feels invigorating at some level. I can hear you saying “What would people think?” or “Yikes! I can’t do that right now.”
But maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s time for you to refuse to put on the different masks that you use for protection. Maybe it’s time to find yourself again and let yourself be visible. Maybe it’s time to remember who you really are.
If it is, and you want to chat with someone who has been in your shoes, reach out to me at email@example.com and we can talk about what this journey may mean for you.