Motivation Monday: “A” is for “Authenticity”–The 3 Rules for Being Uniquely You

{image courtesy of}

{image courtesy of}

**Today is the launch of my A-to-Z Monday Motivation series. Join me weekly as I travel through the alphabet with inspirational, introspective & insightful (and sometimes funny) motivational posts**

I have been taking a spectacular business boot camp the last couple of weeks {thanks Tara Gentile and Creative Live!}, and not only has it been an invaluable wealth of information but, quite unexpectedly and amazingly, it’s also been liberating and quite revelatory for me.

In one of the sessions Tara made this statement: “” It was so absolutely  freeing for me because I’d been struggling a little bit with an outcome that wasn’t quite working. With that one statement I came to the realization that I was expending time and energy on an outcome that wasn’t genuinely connected to my personal, individual, unique ideology. I was concerned with this outcome because popular thought said that I should be. I had allowed a status quo dictate that didn’t connect to me in an authentic way influence my decision-making, and it was actually counter-productive.

What a big “WHOA” moment of realization!

The lesson (re)learned: In business, just as in life, we should always be connected to what genuinely resonates us. In fact, authenticity is critical and crucial when it comes to successfully moving toward achieving our goals, dreams, calling, and vision. Our dreams are innate, inherent, and deeply-rooted–it’s something that is naturally unique to each of us. How can you successfully do something that comes naturally to you by being an unnatural, inauthentic version of yourself? BOOM→you can’t!

You can’t be genuinely happy being a disingenuous you.

So, what can we do to ensure that we are operating on a plane of authenticity as we move forward towards our life vision? I’ve got 3 pivotal quotes that provides the blueprint to cultivating the art of authenticity.

The Art of Authenticity

{images courtesy of from left:;; and}

{images courtesy of from left:;; and}


To be uncompromising means making no concessions–to be undeviating in your belief or adherence to a principle, position, philosophy, or ideology. To consider yourself as “uncompromising” might sound daunting until you start to realize that you’re probably already being uncompromising about something every single day.

Think about it: how many times have you been in line behind that person in Starbucks who orders a “Quad venti half caf extra hot breve no foam with whip; two Splendas stirred; skinny; and three pumps peppermint mocha” who pitched a fit when it wasn’t made to perfection? Okay, tell the truth–how many of you are that person? Haha, okay, no judgment; I’m just making the point that we are probably a bit more uncompromising than we might think.

So why, then, should it be any more difficult to be uncompromising when it comes to the thing that matter so much more than a cup of coffee? Once you know who you are at the core and have developed personal, guiding principles that speak to the person you are at your highest, purest form, honor them! Don’t deviate just because you want to feel like you belong or you want to be liked. The real you deserve to be valued and respected, and that starts from within.

The 1st Rule of Authenticity: “Honor Thyself.”


No doubt about it, deciding to embrace and boldly own your uniqueness is risky and it’s this risk that opens us up to vulnerability. How will the “real me” be received? How will I be perceived? Will people understand and embrace it?

Putting yourself out there makes you open to rejection and criticism, but in the long run, we can’t place a lot of weight on that! I read an article by Joyce Kelly that beautifully sums up vulnerability as it relates to authenticity: “Allowing ourselves to be fully seen and unapologetically authentic takes an immense amount of courage and strength…[and the] truth is, being vulnerable is the bravest thing we can ever do. ”

It’s impossible to find real love without making yourself vulnerable in some way, but when we find that real love we know that opening ourselves up was worth it. With great risks–even emotional risk–comes great reward, and so it is with our personal happiness. There is value in being vulnerable because it allows us to be ourselves. And being our authentic selves is when we are happiest.

The 2nd Rule of Authenticity: “Vulnerability validates your authenticity.”


I was participating in a Twitter chat recently and when I responded to one of the questions with this answer: “Authenticity = GPS. I tune in to how a decision makes me feel. If I feel off track, I look at my “GPS” to find my way again.” It resonated with soooo many people. My tweet got replies; favorites; and retweets because people understood and related to the sentiment of finding our way again.

To me though, the bigger point of that statement was the fact that we acknowledge that we get off track. We lose our way because we’re imperfect beings. We have fears. We want to control things. We occasionally think of ourselves too much instead of thinking of others. We’re impatient. We doubt our feelings and decisions. That’s why it’s necessary to practice authenticity.

I read a Huff Po article by the incomparably brilliant Brene Brown called Why Courage, Vulnerability And Authenticity Have To Be Practiced . The words of hers that hit home with me the most were these quotes:

  • “[Vulnerability] has to be practiced. It’s a practice for me every day, sometimes every hour of every day. It is an absolute practice.”
  • Sometimes I walk into a situation where I’m intimidated and I want to be liked and I want to fit in, and I don’t choose authenticity. And it’s always pretty miserable.”
  • “[S]ometimes I don’t do it [and] I almost always regret it.”

The dictionary defines “practice” as:

“to perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency”

You practice at something that you want to get good at, right? But by now you may be thinking “Why should it take practice to just be myself?” The reason is that we’ve been conditioned in a lot of ways not to. We’ve been taught to pursue the safest, most reliable options. Many of us have heard admonishments like this: “Don’t try to be a working artist; that’s too risky! Be a teacher instead.” Or “Why would you waste your time

So don’t waste your time coming down hard on yourself for needing to practice “being you,” and don’t apologize for it either. Give yourself the latitude to accept that it takes work, and that that’s okay. You deserve the effort it takes–and the happiness that comes along with that effort–to thrive and survive in the world as the truest form of yourself. And we already know what they say practice “makes…”

The 3rd Rule of Authenticity: “Unapologetically cultivate your authenticity.”

Coco Chanel is quoted as saying “Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” So if you ever find yourself facing difficulties and begin to have the urge to compromise; to doubt; to wonder if being your realest, truest self will really make a difference in your hopes, dreams and goals, just remember:

Universe cannot resist authenticity (1)