Authenticity seems to be a word that’s bandied around a lot these days. I know it’s one I find I use more and more as I help clients on their journeys; it has become common language both in the personal development and corporate worlds – being our ‘authentic self’ or ‘authentic leadership’.
But something’s beginning to jar with me. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely think it’s what can have the biggest positive impact on our life, wellbeing and happiness to just be truly ourselves; not what others think we should be, ought to be, could be, or what we feel we need to be in order to ‘fit in’, ‘stand out’ or ‘get along’ – just being naturally, honestly and truthfully real.
And that’s what’s jarring just now.
Sometimes this talk of authenticity just doesn’t feel…authentic! It’s like a label that’s been adopted, a fad, a fashion.
At my cynical worst I feel it’s like a new brand being slapped on an old product. I was at a personal development event recently where we were being urged to be our ‘authentic selves’ and to project that strongly outwards, but where it was ALSO quite clear that being anything other than overwhelmingly positive and ‘blown away’ by what was happening would be frowned upon!!
A bit of a mixed message, and a challenge for me to hold and speak my truth.
I think that’s all I’ll say for now, other than to say that this personal development event most definitely was NOT the One Retreat with Shaa Wasmund, which was one of the most authentic experiences I’ve had – you’ll need to read later blog posts to find out what happened!
In the meantime, do tell me, what does ‘being authentic’ mean for you?