I was talking to my friend Sue the other day. When I mentioned authenticity Sue made a weird noise like pffftt and said “f*ck authenticity”.
This micro explosion of Sue’s got me to thinking.
There’s always lots of talk around about love and spirituality and breathing and karma and joy and meditation and crystals and incense and yoga and hugging (not the naked kind of hugging, just ordinary hugging). Don’t get me wrong. I love all that stuff, I can woo woo it up with the best of them. But you get the picture, right?
And sometimes there’s a shit ton of talk around about authenticity. It’s like there’s an authenticity fad from time to time. Right?
“I just want to be authentic” say the breathy, wistful, dreamy faced people.
But what is authenticity really? And, how do you define authenticity?
You can’t share authenticity. You can’t ask God for it (you probably could ask God whomever or whoever God is for you, because God might actually know – being God and all).
You can’t wrap authenticity it up for Christmas. You can’t even describe it.
You see being authentic is usually too vague. It’s not definable. It’s not even a thing (mostly)! Authenticity is actually so unique that all the wishing and hoping and praying for it isn’t very authentic. Laura Belgray says you should be able paint a picture of what you want – kinda like it’s a birthday wish.
So picture this: there’s me in my sparkly, birthday party clothes. It’s evening, it’s summer and I’m in my midnight blue, sexy, slinky, off the shoulder dress and big heels and I’m feelin’ like I’m a million bucks. I’m all great hair, freshly polished nails, microdermabrasioned glowy skin, big toothy smile and diamond earrings. See where I’m going here? Details.
Someone turns the lights down and a very smiley person brings me my birthday cake with a thousand and twenty candles on it (number rounded down for authenticity’s sake).
“Make a wish, make a wish” they all start to yell happily, glasses poised in the air for the big wish.
I close my eyes, take a deep breath and blow out the candles saying “I want to be authentic”.
What a let down. Boooo. “That’s the best wish we’ve ever heard” said no one ever!
What I’ve found in my coaching practice is that most people turn up with a want and a need for an aaahhhhhmmmaaaazing life and yet they have no idea what it is or how to get it. They’re often quite removed from their actual authentic selves and are often caught up in a scarcity mindset.
There’s a bit of work to be done in the quest for authenticity but it can be fun. No one said it needs to be super hard. There aren’t any rules. There’s not even any authenticity police.
Finding your authentic life is challenging perhaps but the good news is that when you find it, you already are authentic.
What I’ve found is that the journey to authenticity is actually the thing that makes you authentic. It’s the willingness to learn and change and grow and assimilate change into your life.
There’s no fast tracking authenticity. There’s no destination. There’s only seeking.