“Only an authentic life can be a moral life – it can’t be any other way.” ~ Anonymous
A while back, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of secondary school administrators. At their request, I addressed the topic: Effective Public Speaking. Following the 90-minute interactive presentation, I invited questions.
One high school principal asked, “When communicating, what is your guiding principle?” Quickly and comfortably I answered, “the truth.” I added that being real and genuine when you communicate also has its challenges. For instance, we must face the fears that block our inner truths from emerging, especially the fear of rejection. Also, even when we feel strong enough to communicate the truth, we don’t always have clarity about what is true for us.
Enter authenticity. It just means saying and doing our best to be real. To this audience I suggested – when communicating, think of being authentic as being true to your inner most inspiration, without conformity to norm, while pursuing a significant life filled with purpose.
So what is being authentic? I like this explanation: Being authentic can be defined as unquestionable congruent living; the moment to moment alignment of your sincere thoughts, values, emotions and actions. I wish I could remember the source.
During formative years, school children are under pressure to conform. For whatever reason, children ridicule or socially reject those who are different. As a result, children begin to mimic others rather than simply and unconsciously being themselves.
Enter ego. Ego wants to get love and approval, and knows it can do this by pleasing others. It knows it can achieve this by succeeding in the ways that society expects and accepts.
But stop! Think how wonderful you feel when you are doing something that you really love, be it singing, creating or walking aimlessly along the beach. In these moments what you are doing is in alignment with your true essence. You feel relaxed, forgetting about yourself (and ego), and enjoy just being in the moment. You are your awesome self!
This is how it ought to be. The authentic, unique aspects of our being, be they gifts or talents. We are not here to just work, make money, acquire things, and be like everyone else. We came here to experience the fullest expression of our true, authentic self – who we were destined to be before others shaped (or shape) us into someone else.
What you know about yourself says just as much about the clarity of where you’re heading as it does about being authentic.
How clear are you – on who you really are?