When you’ve got something to learn, you’re gonna get pummeled with opportunities to learn it until you finally get it.
For me, this week, that lesson is authenticity. Earlier this month, one of my guru’s Gabrielle Bernstein gave a lecture on the topic. Despite having endured eight straight hours of exercise classes at the annual ECA conference, I went. The kind of authenticity she talked about was that which brings us alive and composes the very essence of who we are. It wasn’t the authenticity that gets cramped when you’re two-faced or disingenuous to others. That’s not the kind of authenticity I struggle with. The kind of authenticity that resonated with me is the kind of authenticity that comes from being true to yourself.
That’s a phrase that flies around quite a bit, “be true to yourself.” What does that even mean? And how do you know when you’re doing it? I think you know you’re being true to yourself when you’re able to cut through the clutter in your mind and hear the strong voice of your inherent wisdom shouting back at you.
As Gabby put it, “How do I release all that is blocking me from being who I really am?”
In a conversation earlier this week with my coach, I confessed to occasionally second guessing myself in conversations, particularly when it comes to business. It’s the sort of second-guessing that has you walking away from the conversation and hours later being like, “I SHOULD have said this…instead of that…” In particular, I was griping about a conversation that happened five days earlier. Five days!
I knew there had to be a better way. The second-guessing is a waste of time.
I asked for coaching on this topic and the conversation found it’s way back around to – surprise, surprise – authenticity.
“What would happen,” she asked me, “if you invited your authentic self along to the meeting?”
There’s a calm in that. A support. A feeling that I don’t have to think of the right thing to say…the right thing to say is already there, if I’m listening to what my authentic voice is telling me.
At a meeting I had later in the day, I stood outside the building and mentally invited my authentic self to the party. I imagined her looping her arm through mine, the way us girls used to walk to the dining hall in camp.
The meeting went well. It was actually fun. And I didn’t worry that maybe I said the wrong thing, or that I should have said it this way, instead of that. I also felt like I was sharing the best of myself with the people to whom I was speaking.
Whatever happens as a result of that meeting is out of my hands now. I know this will work out or something better is on its way. And because I was myself in that meeting, I can easily move on.