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 made of strength and struggle; and
Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.
Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving – even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.”
The outcome to the energy exertion struggle is a more fulfilling, gracious, and authentic life. Brené Brown says, “mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives.”