Do we struggle to be authentic?

I write these words for my own reflection while hoping this short blog really benefits my clients. I’ve often struggled with sharing aspects of my authentic self for fear of judgement from others and it is clearly becoming a key theme in a lot of my coaching sessions. This makes me wonder if the current situation in the world is only amplifying this.

It seems quite simple really ‘just be yourself’ people will say – being yourself can be one of the most difficult things in a world where our lives are driven by screens, comparison and superficiality creating the increasing need to be perfect.

This could be the one thing that is holding us all back.

 The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of authenticity is  – ‘true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.’

After a recent trip home, I found a video taken on my phone by my special 6 year old niece. She was pouting into the camera while videoing herself, obviously copying her older sister and many of the influencers on various social media outlets, magazines and tv shows these days.

A beautiful quote came to my mind –

‘We’re all born originals but some of us become photocopies’

Are we all a little bit at risk of becoming photocopies? Are our beautiful little people at risk of growing up in a world of photocopies? In a strange world where we are wearing masks, distancing ourselves from others, while it seems losing the opportunity for free speech, are we are at risk of losing our sign of individuality? is this and the age of Artificial Intelligence going to make it harder for children to be authentic?

The recent disconnection from others also convinces me how much harder it has been to be our true selves. Could the latest situation in the world make it more difficult to be authentic? We’re all trying to be liked, make a living online and be accepted by every other human being.

Of course, our online presence should be a complete reflection of who we really are but is it? If we portray ourselves online as someone who we are not, are we telling ourselves that who we are isn’t ok? In turn, what impact is that having on our mental health? Can this make us feel even more disconnected and maybe even lonely?

 

How do we develop the quality of being true to our own personality, spirit or character at all times?

 

To find our authentic selves, we must do a lot of conscious work. Our authentic selves is in there, we just need to seek and find. Developing true authenticity takes time but I believe it is up there on the greater path to fulfilment.

Where to start?

  1. Identify your values
  2. Surround yourself with people you trust – those people you can be yourself around without that nagging fear of judgement when you leave the conversation
  3. Be present in our conversations – Do we really believe everything we say? Are our thoughts coming from us or is an opinion of someone else on the news, a blog we’ve read or video we’ve watched
  4. Define who you really are – grab a pen and paper and write down what you truly believe about yourself
  5. Always tell the truth
  6. Find your purpose. What is the gift you bring to the world?
 

This may really seem like a really big ask but starting to reflect on these questions is the beginning of a journey of true self awareness. I will break down the how in further blogs while continuing to explore this fundamental topic in my coaching sessions.

‘’If you are who you’re meant to be, you’ll set the world ablaze’’

– St Catherine of Sienna.

Cathy Thompson

Cathy Thompson

Cathy is an AC Accredited coach, group coach, mental health first aider, EQi 2.0 certified practitioner and people champion. Her coaching approach is very focussed on our own personal values and strengths beginning with our own self awareness.

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Most of my clients will know this tool – it’s the Change Curve or Grief curve that Kubler Ross’s work was based on. What happens