Welcome to Episode 4 of the Life Lessons on a Sunday Podcast, I’m your host Jaimeson and today we are going dive into Being Authentic. What does it truly mean – what does this look like for us in all the different roles that we play.
To be completely honest, transparent and authentic here – I got “called out” last week by a girlfriend of mine that I’ve known for 30 years – remember I’m 40, so I now have those “lifelong” friendships. Anyways, we do these little video chats with an app called Marco Polo so we can see each other – her family moves a lot since her husband is in the military. I digress … And you will hear why this is a big deal in a minute.
She says to me … I really like your podcast … BUT … I could tell that you were reading – you need to free talk! And, she’s right! BUT – and here’s my but … I can jump from topic to topic in the middle of a conversation because my mind doesn’t stop. I say “And” and “Um” a lot – I am like “white rabbit”
I’m a writer – always have been and probably always will be. From my diary writing starting at 8 years old, to journaling as a teenager, to research and article writing as a young adult, to being Editor and Writer for Kentucky Bride Magazine … I love to write. It helps me to stay focused, on track, make sure I can get my points across and not sound like a complete ditz! Ha Ha
Also, there are times – and I’m sure you have them too – when you are really excited about a subject or really upset with a person or situation that your emotions come out before you thoughtfully plan out your words … then, after it’s over, you remember 10 things you should’ve said. Yes, that’s me too! So, my dear, honest, sweet friend is correct, I need to “free talk” .. meaning be authentic to you and I am going to try my very best, but since I also want to make sure that important information is shared with you, I will more than likely still be writing the majority of the show beforehand, so don’t you worry, the show notes will still basically be a transcript of the show and links to everything I discuss will be available.
Getting back to being authentic and what else that can look like, let’s first look at the definition …
From Merriam-Webster …
1a: worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact
b: conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential feature
c: made or done the same way as an original
2: not false or imitation : Real, Actual
3: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
4a: of a church mode : ranging upward from the keynote
B: of a cadence : progressing from the dominant chord to the tonic
5 obsolete : Authoritative
Did you catch that … there are 5 different definitions to being “authentic”. Which brings me to my next point …
Is there only one true “authentic” self that we have? I mean, even the dictionary can’t narrow down the definition. And, let’s not forget that the word “Authentic” is an adjective – it is dependent on something else.
I will go ahead and assume that there are at least 5 different roles that we are all a part of in our lives … these roles may be different for each of us and some of us may have more than others, but the one thing we can all agree on is that we have different “roles” to play in our daily lives – which could in turn be said that we have different “true selves” we need to be.
For example: I am a wife, mother, daughter, business owner, friend, etc.
There are things I would say to my husband that I will not say to my children and there are ways that I act in front of my friends that I would not act like in front of my parents. I’m sure the same is for you.
But society and the world tells us … Be You – Never compromise – Be authentic – … yada, yada, yada. So, then we have to start to ask ourselves … what is being authentic – who is our true authentic self? Believe me … there are tons of books, articles and people who will tell you what “being authentic” means and how to find “your true self” … I am not one of them and I am not trying to do that here. What I am trying to do is dig deeper into the notion of “being authentic” and see what Life Lessons we can learn from this topic.
I found this quote by Ruth Whippman …
“Authenticity is, at heart, the idea that we should make the way we behave on the outside match what we feel on the inside. But really, a functioning society depends on keeping a healthy distance between the two.”
What does this mean to you?
To me, it means that we are complex individuals with a multitude of thoughts, feelings, and opinions but we should “for society’s sake” make sure that we keep them in check. I do agree with this statement from Ruth by the way. It is not saying we can’t be who we are or share our true opinions on certain topics, to me, it’s saying that we need to make sure that we are representing ourselves in the manner that we think is our “authentic” self.
For example, my children are 19 and 12 – there are times that I have “felt” on the inside like screaming and yelling at them for something they did or decision they made, but I choose not to do that on the outside. Does that make me “unauthentic”. I don’t think so. I think at my core – I want to be an understanding and available parent, so if I just started yelling at them for that choice, they may not feel like they can come to me for other issues.
Or – what about when you are at work and your boss, a coworker or customer says something so ridiculous that you want to roll your eyes and say … “Are you freakin’ kidding me?” because that is your true, authentic feelings – because let’s be honest “You can’t fix stupid” … but you don’t … You simply smile and take care of the job at hand. Does this make you less … YOU? I don’t think so … I think it means that you are keeping your true authentic self first (not the knee jerk “reaction” first.) For you, that might be … You are a compassionate person, so you are kind to the co-worker – or you want to move up the ladder at work, so you keep that at the forefront and don’t let this “little” thing ruin your big picture.
This could be seen in all walks of our lives and every second of every day. So, I ask you again … who is your true self – how can you be authentic?
Another thing to look at with “Authenticity” is growth … As people, the hope is that we continue to grow in our knowledge, beliefs, understanding and more. So, what if we have always believed one thing – one thing we feel is fact – but after life experiences, time, knowledge, we start to believe the opposite. Does this make us less “authentic” … will people think we are “fake” if we change our minds and start saying and acting a different way? All of these are valid points … but what I say is … Being authentic is growing and finding your truth … Lord knows, I am not the same person I was 30 years ago, 10 years ago – even last year, but that does not mean that I am any less authentic … in fact, I feel that I am more of who I truly am today than I ever was and that is because of the growth, life experiences and finding out who I am along the way.
At my core – if I’m being authentic-ly me … I hope I am showing you that I am Kind, Loving, Generous, Funny, Honest, and a Grateful lady – Not the scatter brained and sometimes frustrated with life lady.
In closing, I say … GO … BE AUTHENTIC!
Grow as a Person – Let People See Your Core, not the knee jerk reactions.
Okay, now something new that I would like to start … Thoughtful Tidbits:
I am going to start ending the show with “Thoughtful Tidbits” from you. This could be a review, a life lesson, a blog comment, shared caption from Facebook, Instagram, an email sent in, anything that you fine folks think should be shared with the world … this is your place.
This Thoughtful Tidbit is from SETH B. on Facebook (side note: he’s my brother): “Everyone go check her podcast out and subscribe! Perfect to let play while your getting ready on Sunday morning and reflect and laugh a little!”
Thank you so much Seth, and I couldn’t think of a better description for the show … “reflect and laugh” – I hope that is what you can do today!
Until Next Sunday …