Being authentic extends beyond what we say. It includes what we do, not only in specific instances but in the broad expanse of our lives. We have two choices in life.
Reaching for a dream means having the courage to set out alone, prepared and eager to discover the adventure that lies ahead
We can be our authentic selves or conform to others’ expectations. Others’ expectations for us are frequently far less than our capabilities, and rarely take into account our dreams, even if we’ve shared them.
When we live our dream life, whether or not that brings with it the level of success we envision, then we’re being authentic. It doesn’t matter if the dream is large or small, ordinary or exceptional. What counts is whether we’re doing what matters most to us.
Our dreams are not meant to torment us but to propel us to live to our full capability.
“Just be yourself and everything will be fine.”
These words of wisdom have been passed from countless parents to their children at the beginning of every momentous childhood event: the first day of school, summer camp, a new neighborhood, leaving for college, starting a career job.
Artist Nicholas Simmons’ watercolor, “After all the violence and double-talk”
Yet somehow we keep forgetting the message.
We listen to criticism inflicted by others and by our own inner critic and we respond by trying to be who we are not. We seek to alter our authentic selves and to silence our critics by hiding behind costumes of clothes and sets replete with cars and houses. We eat in the right restaurants, go to the right cultural events, support the right charities, cheer for the right teams. In listening to the critics, we lose the joy of living our own life. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I talked about being trustworthy. The other side of being trustworthy is being able to trust. Trust is critical to our success in our professional and personal
lives. Some of us seem to be hardwired to trust others. Others find it harder to trust. To know what type of person you are, ask yourself this simple question: do you trust others until you have reason to believe they are not trustworthy? Or, do you expect others to prove to you they are trustworthy before you trust them? Continue reading