“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” — Yoda
I have done some soul traveling lately and 4 Directions Branding has been my vehicle. By co-creating with our clients their most authentic brands, we travel into the soul of their companies and into their individual souls—discovering and experiencing their vision in a most vulnerable and authentic way. Along the way I found myself traveling into the soul of 4 Directions Branding, and most importantly into my own soul.
As I have traveled into my own soul, I have asked myself the question, what is the meaning of authenticity? Words can sometimes lose their true definition when they are used in so many different ways and not necessarily with true intention. So what is the meaning of authenticity for me? Do I practice being authentic in all aspects of my life? And the answer my friend is: nope!
I have discovered that one important aspect of being authentic for me means being honest with my words—saying what I really want to say, what is in my heart and what is on my mind. This is an area where I have not been completely authentic. I have in the past been concerned and worried about how people would hear or receive what I am sharing, and most importantly what they were going to think of me.
I have read and heard a thousand times over that what other people think of me is none of my business. I have heard stories of how we keep ourselves imprisoned by our fear of what others may think of us. All of this I’ve heard, I’ve related to it and even passed this bit of wonderful wisdom along. Yet, it wasn’t until lately that I took an even deeper look at my own authenticity, what does it mean and what does it look like for me.
One way that it manifests itself is in my blogging—saying what I really want to say, not worry about what the reader may think about me or the words I’ve shared. Even as I am coming to the end of writing this blog I am questioning how might this sound to the reader? What will they think of me for not being completely authentic? Will their image (I think they have) of me change? And so on. I do hope that these words I have shared will help you to travel into your own soul.
I will continue to embrace the opportunities to practice being completely authentic, as challenging as it may be at times. The reality is that when I am truly authentic, I feel (and I am) the freest!
What does being authentic look like for you? When do you feel (and are) your freest?