How to become authentic?

How to become authentic?

One of the questions I hear often in my mentoring of clients—especially during crisis moments in their lives is:
“How to become authentic? For most of my life it appears I’ve been living everyone else’s but my own.”

The 19th century thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, answered these questions of urgency this way:

“No matter what your work, let it be your own. No matter what your occupation, let what you are doing be organic. Let it be in your bones. In this way, you will open the door by which the affluence of heaven and earth shall stream into you.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (see The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and The Spiritual Emerson: Essential Writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

1 Comment
  • Bill Courville
    Posted at 17:31h, 03 September Reply

    In coaching I often use the notion of “story” to help clients understand that there is no “objective” reality–only a personal story about what we see “out there”. When we were children, we believed that we saw “out there” was objective reality. As we grow older, we come to understand that we all see through our own filters. We all see things differently–there is no “objective reality”–only our “story” about it.

    As Carl Jung, the noted psychologist once said, the only unmediated experience we have is PSYCHE–everything else we experience we experience THROUGH psyche. Recent research in neuroscience says it differently: that everything we see is filtered through our brains and that all of our brains are different-hence, we all see “reality” differently.

    Authenticity is when my “story”–how I am living my life– reflects my core values. We rarely notice that we are “authentic”–what we usually notice is when we are not in congruence with our values–i.e. when we are “inauthentic”. We can feel that we are not congruent and it often shows up as stress. We experience it in our body, feel it in our emotions, and reflect it in our language.

    When asked how I describe authenticity, I often describe it as when one shows up as the same person in each room of their house. That is, we are who we are and are true to ourselves no matter in what situation (room) we find ourselves. As you said above, we spend most of our lives living someone else’s story. We become authentic when we begin writing–and living–our own.

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