or will I be… loved/successful/wanted (fill in your own word) if I am authentic?
I must admit, I tend to subscribe to the “all will be well with the world if I am authentic” belief, however I realise this can become an empty promise if I’m not clear about what I mean. A man, who I really respect for the tussle that has been his own authentic journey, was sharing the challenges his current environment was creating for him. He ended his comments with “well I guess ultimately if I remain authentic in my interactions and through my behaviour, my opinions will be valued, I’ll have influence and be rewarded!”
It gave me pause to think, what are the ‘rewards’ for being authentic? I would like to think that others will respond positively to our authenticity, that they will empathise with the courage it can take, and feel encouraged to show up authentically themselves. But you know, there’s no guarantee about how others will respond. There are no promises about the extrinsic rewards when we follow our authentic journey. The promise I do believe is how we will feel about ourselves. Being true to ourselves shows self honour and respect. It reinforces that we are worthy, that we are valuable. And if we keep reinforcing this with our own positive actions and commitments to ourselves, then we will feel more worthy, more self-accepting and expand our capacity for authenticity and being more of all that we are.
This aligns with number of people who have answered the questionnaire on the website about their own authentic journey. These are just some of the ‘rewards’ they have gained from practicing authenticity:
“Calmer, mindful and aware”
“Living a much more embodied life, feel empowered to be a much bigger person than ever before.”
“Greater conscious impact on my own life – how I think is how I experience the world.”
“More comfortable in own skin, warts & all, much more able to look at self, much more the self I want to be.”
“I am wiling to see and be seen”
“Increased confidence, groundeness, strategies for coping with self doubt”
“Playing to my strengths, accept and value my weaknesses”
“Take more risks, not fearful”
“Increased confidence, self awareness and sympathetic to other points of view”
The more we move along this reinforcing authentic journey, the more likely we will make choices that support the truth of us. Those choices will include the people we want around us, the environments we work and live in, what we do with our time and the way we are in the world. Maybe this is how the external rewards kick in… I will put myself in an environment where I can bring all of me to work. And that work will be fulfilling and I will be valued (because firstly I value myself) and have influence (because that’s me at my best) and, and, and. How I see and think about and experience the world will influence how we are in the world, which influences the world’s response to us.
So the promises of authenticity are about how you will feel about yourself, after that the rest of the world will have to choose for itself. Travelling the authentic journey is something you do for yourself!
I really do think that when I am authentic all is well with the world – my world and the way I choose to experience it!