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Cultivating Authenticity

The other day I read an excerpt from the book “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown on authenticity and I was reminded on how simplistic being authentic is and should be, on one hand, and yet most of us struggle being so because of the energy and awareness that it takes to be truly authentic.  She says, “authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” She also reminds us that it is our choice. It is a choice that we make with every decision, every interaction, and every feeling. It is that choice that allows us the ability to be authentic all the time, and it is that choice that takes constant self awareness and energy. “The idea that we can choose authenticity makes most of us feel both hopeful and exhausted. We feel hopeful because being real is something we value. We feel exhausted because most of us know that choosing authenticity is a huge undertaking.” Choosing authenticity means: “Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable;Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all […]

Can We Train Ourselves to Succeed in Relationships?

A theory emerged to describe the basic traits that serve as the building blocks of personality. The “Big Five” Personality Traits, as they are often referred to, are broad categories of personality traits that can be broken down into: Extraversion: characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness. Agreeableness: includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and other pro-social behaviors. Conscientiousness: include high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high in conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details. Neuroticism: Individuals high in this trait tend to experience emotional instability, anxiety, moodiness, irritability, and sadness. Openness: This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests. The “Big Five” Personality Traits examines the individual differences in people. We can use these differences to identify how someone might perform in certain work environments or tasks. For example, Openness is associated with tolerance of ambiguity (which means when something is not clear), a capacity to absorb information, being very focused and the ability to be aware of more feelings, thoughts and impulses simultaneously. The result is […]

Think, Act, and Communicate From the Inside Out

Many people can express what they believe is their life’s purpose, but often it is unsupported by real conviction or action. We express our rational thoughts, but in order to support it with real conviction or action it needs to be derived from our personal why. The personal why are our innerds. Innards are our internal organs. I use the word innerds (inner) to reflect our values and passions. Why does this have meaning or significance? Why am I doing this? Why am I compelled to feel this way? The results, outside forces or characteristics is the what, the action, or context of our lives. The outer what involves the neocortex or the outer layers of the brain. It supports “higher functions” such as sensory perception, generation of motor commands, conscious thought and language. It is our ability to be rational, factual, logical, detail-oriented, textual, and statistical. We can get caught up in an endless circular analysis of trying to comprehend or correct the outer what. Most often with little satisfaction or understanding of those forces because we can’t make rational sense of it or control all of the actions.   “When we communicate from the outside in, people can understand […]

Can We Fool Ourselves?

We have heard the expression “fake it until you make it”, but can we really fake it? I suspect that we have all been in situations or times where we had to put a smile on and make the best of a situation. That tends to be more situational and hopefully short term. Pretending we are not anxious, when we are, is a tactic that may fool those around you but you can’t fool yourself. We always know what we are doing, but sometimes we just don’t or are not able to acknowledge it. Attempting to deny or repress our fears and worries within our self does not work. The result is often the heavy feeling of carrying around extra emotional weight., depression or a physical ailment, indicating that in our subconscious, we know very well that something is wrong. Being rigorously honest saves us from playing destructive games with ourselves. A worry that we can define and examine in the light of day is far less threatening than one we are trying to tuck away in the darkness and hide.Most, if not all, anxiety is based on fear. So when faced with anxiety, the question becomes what it is we fear. If our […]