Mike Robbins recently gave a Tedx speech on the power of authenticity. Being authentic is not always easy, he says, but it is equally liberating when we attempt it with courage. Speaking your heartfelt truth gives other license to do the same.
There is a difference, however, between being authentic and being simply annoying.
Authenticity doesn’t mean you have free reign to puke all over everyone with your opinions. Do you know anyone who claims he or she is “authentic”, but what that person really is is opinionated? Most people I know who say they are authentic fall into the annoying category.
Because being authentic means you don’t have to claim that you are being so. You simply are being so.
Recently I have run into several individuals who celebrate their truth-telling, but what they are really doing is being hurtful, tactless and murderously unaware of the impact their words have on others. Coming from a space of care and true connection with self has an entirely different feel to it.
Let’s look at an example.
Consider your friend who asks you for your opinion about how she looks in that green dress that actually makes her look more like a reptile than Rupunzel. Do you tell her your opinion?
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph. You look God-awful in that thing. Take it off. Now!”
“I bet you have another outfit that highlights your features better. Let’s take a look in your closet.”
You aren’t being mean while being honest. You are being kind, authentic and loving to your friend by redirecting her efforts to a more suitable dress.
Authentic communication is about being empowered while empowering others. It has a special quality to it and you know it when you experience it.
Authenticity sets you free to be who you are. And who you truly are, underneath all those opinions, is a beautiful soul that deserves to soar.