Reclaiming Our Authenticity

March 8, 2018

When I started this blog, I needed an outlet. On a surface level it was a place for some creative expression. But on a deeper level, I was writing to myself, appealing to myself… Live a truer life! Live a life you fully love! Don’t leave room for regrets!

I have no idea where the name “Authentic and Bold” came from, it just crept into my subconscious one day and I gave it no additional thought. But it’s clear now that something deep inside was clamoring for me to live a life with much more of those two qualities. Even after letting this site go dormant a number of times, growing weeds while my attention has been pulled by other things, each time I return I find those words resonate just as much today as they did that first day.

And I see the same desire for those qualities in so many people around me… perhaps even you.

I can tell you that you and I were once one hundred percent authentic. I know this from my little guy. It’s one of the gifts of raising a child. You get to see this awesome little person who is so utterly who they are. He’s almost six, and he’s still got me beat in authenticity (by a centillion times infinity!). For example he loves numbers so much, and he’ll excitedly tell his friends about gigantic numbers or cool “math tricks.” And kids who otherwise might have no interest seem to think it’s cool and entertain his suggestions for no other reason than the sheer passion he exudes.

Turns out authenticity and passion are magnetic.

But the other side of this gift of raising a child is witnessing how and why our authenticity fades. I see the earliest signs of the inevitable decline of that pure authenticity… little twinges of self-consciousness, moments of trying a different personality trait on for size, the stuff we spend much of our lives building up layer by layer to fit in and gain approval or acceptance from our friends, teachers, parents, you name it.

Until one day, if you’re lucky, you realize there’s a freer way to live. Being your natural self. And so begins the journey to true authenticity.

Except you’ve built up so many damn layers it turns out it’s not so easy to shed them. Sometimes it feels so difficult and unnatural to just be your effortless, natural self.

Meditation can help. It’s the most direct path to increasing freedom that I know. Come to think of it, I should really meditate more.

But so can just plain being bold. Because inauthenticity is usually just a case of good old-fashioned fear. Strangely enough, we seem to think that if we are utterly ourselves, completely unrehearsed, spontaneous and open to whatever happens and to whatever other people think about us no matter the consequences, something really bad might happen.

I mean come on, I can’t be totally honest. I can’t let people at work know that about me. I can’t let my friends see that side of me. I mean think of what would happen… they might ___________, or _____ might happen, or they might _________, or they even might ___________.

Something bad might happen I tell you!

But will it?

Or is it possible we might just be missing the very secret of _________?