“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen”. – Brené Brown
It’s a lovely idea, isn’t it? We have the choice on a daily basis to be genuinely who we are. It’s often what we yearn for – to have the courage to be ourselves, regardless of what other people think.
What if people don’t like us?
What if people tell us we’re wrong?
What if we risk being ourselves and we get hurt?
We can learn very early on in life to hide our true selves. If who we are isn’t accepted and valued by those around us, we take our authenticity into hiding for protection.
For survival, we choose to show only those parts of us that we believe are acceptable to others.
We tell ourselves: “never, never show someone who you really are or what you really feel because you will be annihilated and you will not survive”.
Consequently, authenticity feels like A Very Big Risk.
While it may not feel safe to show everyone who we are, it doesn’t mean we can’t show anyone. We can seek out those people with whom we feel safe to show just a little of ourselves and, in that way, our true selves can begin to emerge.
Yes, it’s risky. Yes, it’s scary.
But the reward is that we find we are not alone. We no longer have to stay hidden. We can finally be truly seen, heard, understood and known by another.
That has to be worth the risk, doesn’t it?