What does it mean to be “authentic?”

The normal words fill my head…

Real.

True.

Levi’s…

What?  Yep.  The authentic blue jean.

But how can “authentic” help me in my daily life?

Authentic is one of those words.  It means so much that I can’t really define it.  It’s so key to living a fulfilling life, that I know I don’t have it and that I want it.  But how do I find it?

Well, fortunately for me there are LOTS of people out there who are willing to sell me authenticity.

Hey!  Wait!  I sell authenticity…  Or do I?

No one can sell you authenticity.  They can sell you a product or a service.  It either is the real thing or it seems like it.  But back to the original question.  What does it mean to be “Authentic?”

And why would anyone want to be authentic?  Why should I care?

“We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.”  Barbara de Angeles

Authenticity is key to a happy life.  Well, that seems simple enough.  But why?

A SALES JOB

Have you ever heard someone say that everyone is selling something?  It’s true.

Parents are trying to sell the idea of behaving to their kids all the time. Kids are trying to sell parents on things like chocolate ice cream for breakfast and video games at the dinner table.

Your boss is trying to sell you on the idea of working more hours for less pay, while you are trying to sell her on the idea of paying you for being on vacation 30 weeks out of the year.

When you understand that everyone is trying to sell you something – in other words, trying to convince you that their way of seeing the world is “right,” then you begin to understand how authenticity is important.

Authenticity is sticking to your guns on things that matter to you.

For instance, let’s say you’ve been waiting ALL YEAR for this weekend!  It’s the annual Chili Cook-off!  You NEVER miss it.

Your boss comes in and starts hinting around about working on Saturday.  You tap dance around the subject in an avoidance pattern perfectly choreographed to his attempts to nail you down.  As he starts to zero in for the kill, you begin to get nervous.

Finally, he asks if you’d be available to work on Saturday.

  • Do you just give in and work, giving your tickets to your brother.
  • Maybe you make up some little lie – “Gosh!  You know I’d LOVE to, but my mom’s going in for a heart transplant!  I just can’t!”
  • Perhaps you say it out-right – “No thanks!  It’s the Chili Cook-off this weekend and I’ve had my tickets for 6 weeks.”

Authentic is a way of being that allows full expression of you and what you love and value without making anyone or anything else wrong.  Standing up for what you believe in is usually being authentic.  It’s also possible to do what someone else wants and still be authentic.

It’s all in how you handle it.

And remember, the other person has a right to be fully expressed, too!

So what is being authentic?

Here’s a website that will help get you in touch with one possible way to look at authenticity…

http://www.authenticity.cc/html/quotient2.htm

After you complete the questionnaire, you’ll get your “Authenticity Quotient.”  Be sure to read all the way down.  There’s a great list of ideas at the bottom designed to help you build up your score…

 

 

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