by Jerry Marrs
The word authenticity is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the quality of being real or true.” Discerning the authenticity of something is relatively easy using letters of authenticity, expert evaluations, or historical documents. Discerning the authenticity of someone is exponentially more difficult, if not impossible. People are continually changing dependent upon context and their emotional state. Conversely, an object, such as a violin, remains authentic regardless of the context in which it sits. While we have no control over the authenticity of another, we can ensure that our own authenticity remains steadfast regardless of context.
I define authenticity of one’s self as “the quality of one being real or true.” “Real or true” means our behavior and words are consistent with who we have chosen to be, regardless of the screams and lamentations of our human. It means our human emotions are not allowed to leak into who we have chosen to be. Devon Bandison demonstrated this beautifully at his last GameChanger Experience. The difference in the room was palpable when he demonstrated walking into a room with his human leaking emotions through heavy sighs, body language, and tone of voice, versus walking into a room in a manner consistent with his being, which is positive, uplifting, and present.
Someone asked me this week, “are we being authentic when we refuse to show our emotions?” My answer was a resounding “YES!” Our human wants control. It wants us to feel angry, unworthy, jealous, heartbroken, and fearful. Our human makes up stories about what other people think of us, how they judge us, and whether we measure up. In contrast, our being, the innate core of who we are, is not angry, jealous, heartbroken, or fearful. When the human is allowed to take over, only then is one inauthentic, because they are not staying true to their being, the person they have chosen to be.
Living an authentic life can be extremely difficult. It demands that we put ourselves first. It demands that we love ourselves, forgive ourselves, and be patient with ourselves. It demands that we always tell the truth, always be our word. When we do not put ourselves first, competing beliefs fight for attention and cause dissonance which creates spiritual, emotional, and physical stress in the body. For example, over committing due to the expectations of others, whether real or illusory, frequently causes us to push beyond capacity. Women, in particular, seem to have an incredible strength that allows them to push far beyond their physical limitations, especially when caring for their family.
Living authentically, true to your being and in alignment with your innate core beliefs and values, reaps incredible rewards. There is only one person who can truly judge your authenticity and only one person to whom you owe complete allegiance – yourself! When you are being authentic to yourself, you are naturally authentic to those around you. When you remain authentic with those around you the rewards are boundless! Those around you will honor and trust your word. You will set an example that others will follow. You will see loved ones making healthy decisions for themselves. You will manage your physical and emotional capacity so that you may be completely present for your family, connect deeply and honestly, and most importantly, love and be loved by those dearest to you. What greater reward could you ask for?