Definition of authenticity: To be true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. Sincere and authentic with no pretensions
Back in the day of when I was first building my business I really struggled with authenticity.
I struggled to understand what it meant and I also struggled with being authentic.
If you know my story you’ll know that I was raised in a family that on the outside seemed loving and kind and authentic but behind closed doors was another story.
Don’t get me wrong…my parents had the best intentions for me and they were certainly never cruel but I was never allowed to express my authentic self. My spirit was tamed…I could have fun but only to a certain point.
I didn’t have a voice
Every time I had an opinion and tried to put my point across I was shot down in flames with a murderous look from my mother or father.
It’s something that stays with me to this day…regardless of how much personal development work I’ve done on myself….except that now I know how to overcome it.
The other thing about my family that affected it’s authenticity is that my father was living a lie. On the outside he was a loving family man who adored his wife and was a shining example to his children.
This was not the case. My father had horrific experiences on a regular basis when he was a small boy, that had impacted his life greatly but instead of talking about it, he had kept it a secret all his life.
Looking back you could positively see the steam coming out of his ears…years of anger and despair trying to escape his body….the frightened little boy trying to get out and run away.
As kids, we weren’t stupid. We knew something was going on….it didn’t seem right.
Maybe as a child I picked this up unconsciously. Maybe I learnt that being authentic is bad. Hiding your true self is good.
It keeps you safe.
I left home when I was 16. I set myself free.
I travelled the world. I mixed with a different crowd. I started to find my true identity but
I wasn’t really being myself..
I was a party girl…wild. Out every night drinking shots, getting on the mic and leading drinking games. A stereo typical 90’s ladette but
I wasn’t being myself
I came back to the UK and started to work in corporate. I turned in to what they wanted me to be. What was expected. What would get me respected and promoted. I didn’t stand for weakness or failure it was all about getting the job done. People were a commodity. Can’t get the job done? Ok we’ll replace you with someone who can..but
I wasn’t being myself
I left corporate and re-trained to be a personal stylist. It was all about the looks. All about the fashion. I straightened my hair, only wore designer and never went out without makeup. Yes you guessed it….
I wasn’t being myself.
It was only when I started to do some deep personal development work that I realised that nobody had forced me to be those other people. Nobody else was at fault here.
It was all me.
I was just trying to fit it…to be accepted.
I’m still working on myself. It will take time but I feel more at peace with myself than I ever had.
I feel authentic, the real me and in turn I’m able to help others do the same.
So if you feel like this too, here are 3 things that will help:
- Write a lot of all the things that are amazing about you. What makes you unique and different to anybody else. Write down what you stand for, what you believe in. How you can make a difference in the world.
- Don’t hang around with people that put you down and let you be yourself. Surround yourself with people who will raise you up and empower you to be your true self.
- Keep doing the work….whatever it takes. mediation, positive affirmations, reading books….soak it all up like a sponge.
A few weeks ago I was delighted to interview Dr Andrea Pennington for my Radio Show.
Andrea is an integrative physician, acupuncturist, meditation teacher and conscious communication specialist.
As Co-founder of the #RealSelfLove Movement Andrea speaks globally to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to support people on their journey to authentic living.
You can listen to my interview with Dr Andrea HERE:
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