Can You Handle Being Authentic?

Can you handle being authentic? One of the first lessons I remember learning after turning 30 was how much easier it is to be myself than to try to be who the world might think I am. I believe being authentic is a critical element in discovering your giant within.  Everybody’s Giant is different and it takes courage and energy to bring her out.

You can’t afford to waste energy wearing a mask or pretending to be something you are not. You need that energy and focus for continuing to develop into the powerful person that you were born to be. If you want to be authentically, sincerely, genuinely, blissfully, intentionally happy and successful you have to decide to be who YOU really are.

Can you handle being authentic?

I had a first face-to-face meeting last week with someone who I had been communicating with online and she told me she was surprised to discover that I talk the way I write. Really?! I know I have a pretty formal writing style and I do occasionally throw in a high-octane vocabulary word, but guess what? That’s how I interact offline too.

Growing up I had a very strict Jamaican father who never used slang or poor grammar so I usually don’t either. And if you think my vocabulary is premium, you should hear my older brother or my oldest cousin. They put the encyclopedia in Encyclopedia Brown.

I didn’t tell you that so you would ask one of us to tutor your child for the SATs. It was simply an illustration of how important it is to be authentic and consistent in communicating your personal brand. My new business associate and I had a great networking meeting with a lively exchange of possible ideas for working together in the future.

Do you think our meeting would have gone as well if I presented myself as someone completely different than the person she had been following online? I don’t think so. Authenticity trumps sparkle, every time. But not everyone can handle being authentic.

I am not suggesting that you start being completely transparent with everyone and telling them everything about you. Perish the thought! What I am suggesting is that when given an opportunity you really think about how you feel about something before simply repeating what you have heard others says.

I am suggesting that you have your own opinion and you share it appropriately. I am suggesting that you give yourself permission to be authentic and unapologetically who you are. You want to attract people to who you are, not who they think you are. Then you will worry less about whether your circle of influence can handle you. They will know and like you.

Not Being Authentic is Costing You

Can you really afford to spend much more time trying to be a poor imitation of someone else instead of the fabulous original that you are? Nobody else can be YOU. I’m working on a series of e-coaching lessons to help us discover who we really are and practice communicating that authentically to others more consistently.

Please share your thoughts with me in the comment box below and feel free to share this on Twitter or Pinterest with your friends if you think it might help them.

About the author 

Allegra M. Sinclair

Allegra Sinclair is a professional coach and confidence expert. She hates to see women living small and loves to help them change how they show up in the world.

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  1. Hi Allegra, the title of this post caught my eye because it is the title of the ‘fresh start’ webinar I co-host this week! We are discussing the ‘Language of Authenticity’ and you raise such an important point when you say it begins with giving yourself “permission to be authentic “.
    I totally agree. whether it is in our business, via our personal branding or in our personal lives as we continue to peel back the layers, grow and ask the question ‘who am I really’, learning to be authentic really is at the heart of it all.
    Until we understand who we are, how can we expect anybody else to??
    Great topic, thanks 🙂

  2. Being our authentic selves: it’s a lot easier said than done for some of us, myself included. For myself, being myself comes when I take time for prayer and meditation, and journaling. It’s only when I get quiet that I can sometimes understand what my true ideas, thoughts, feelings, wants, are. Great post!

  3. Hello Allegra, this is great post, and I believe your series of e-course will be great, it’s something that’s needed today, in Attraction marketing. I’ve been marketing online since “relationship marketing” or “attraction marketing” first began online with people using “Face pages” and photos to build relationships with their prospects.

    This is all about “being you” and those who embraced it and let people get to know them were successful. Those who are reluctant to let people get to know them, for one reason or another, have a lot of challenges with being successful online.

    “Being you” is also the reason why using other people’s articles on your blogs or newsletters all the time, doesn’t work so well.

    Thanks Allegra, this topic is really important! Regards from Julieanne

    1. Julieanne,
      Thanks for your encouragement! You must have great stories from the early days of online attraction marketing. I’d love to hear more sometime. I think you’re right, the folks who thought they come come online and ‘hide’ behind the computer screen didn’t last long. We stand out by showing who we uniquely are. Have a POWERFUL week!

  4. Hello Allegra,
    I enjoyed your post. We all need to be the person we were meant to be. Sometimes we hide behind the skirts of others and we forget who we really are. There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.

    To Much More Success,
    Barbara

  5. Hi Allegra,

    I like many of your post title and I would like to read one at a time. Now, I have finished reading
    Being Authentic–Can You Handle It?

    Excellent, Allegra ! You have given me a great impression on you with this post 🙂

    I find that being yourself is so much easier and happier than faking it. It will allow you to find happiness and attract more genuine friends to your life. If a person wants to be happy, it doesn’t matter so much of what others may be thinking…what is important is..are you genuine happy ?

    Believe me or not, I am always thankful because I received such a beautiful gift from GOD since I was a girl. This is really a natural thing for me and I do not need experience to own it but as I grew older, I realized this is something not an easy practice to many people and many others are struggling to find the real happiness in themselves and find it difficult to be themselves if they want success.

    So, I thank you again for reminding me to be myself and be happy 🙂

    Cheers
    Pearly

    1. Hi Pearly,
      It’s nice to meet you. And you are lucky that you never felt any pressure to be someone different. I love your point about attracting genuine friends by being yourself. It would be a sad day to wake up and realize all of your friends belong to somebody else! Take care and thanks for visiting.

  6. “If you want to be authentically, sincerely, genuinely, blissfully, intentionally happy and successful you have to decide to be who YOU really are.”

    I totally agree with you and this is a thoughtful post on a topic we all need more discussion on in my opinion.

    While it is important to be authentic and be yourself, there are still boundaries we need to set on how much / what information we share with others. Especially online the tendency can be to over-share, be TOO honest about ourselves and this can be very counterproductive.

    Just as we have a persona we show our parents, another that our kids see, still another that our partners know…we also have to always be professional in our businesses. It is not inauthentic to set and protect these boundaries. It’s the smart thing to do.

    1. Hi Ylva,
      I agree that there is danger in oversharing and it is incredibly uncomfortable for all parties involved. You can never ‘un’-say something that you wish you hadn’t said. I’m not sure I understand what you are saying about different personas. My point is that we have a single throughline (values, personality, etc.) on who we are. That doesn’t mean I would have the same conversation with a child that I would have with another adult though. Right? I suspect we are just using different vocabulary but that we agree in principle. Thanks for keeping the discussion going!

  7. Hey Allegra, Nice post and I get the feeling that you did well in English and Vocabulary. You are obviously a good writer. This is the first time I have visited your blog, but you make a great first impression. I will see you next week. Maybe I can learn some new writing skills from you. “Make it a Great Week”

    1. Hey Ross,
      Aw shucks, I’m blushing over here. We can make a deal–I’ll share writing tips and you can school me on SEO. Sound like a plan?

  8. I have too recently entered into my 30’s and I have to agree that “keeping it real” and staying true to yourself makes like so much less complicated. In my younger years, I was so concerned about what people would say or think, and I spent way more hours stressing than I needed to. Great article and advice!!!

    1. Adrian,
      My grandmother used to tell me that I would know I was ‘grown’ when I worried more about what I thought about others, than what they thought about me. Wisdom from the elders is priceless. Take care.

  9. Hi Allegra ~ It wasn’t until I got into my 30’s that I figured out it’s more comfortable (and empowering) to just be yourself instead of trying to be who you think society, your family or friends, etc. think you should be like. And now, every year that I grow older [ and wiser 😉 ] I let more and more of the real me show…and that is only b/c I’ve taken the time and effort in the lst few years to really get to know who I am, what makes me tick and do the things that I’m really passionate about…even if my friends or family may not always approve or “get it”. I gotta be me and follow my own path, even if it’s slightly outside of what society labels as “norm”. 😉 Christine

    1. Christine,
      It sounds like we have similar families. I have always marched to a different beat (especially since I have NO rhythm) and my family is really supportive of all my twists and turns. They definitely do not always understand or approve but they do empower me to work on these things for myself. And when they do catch a glimpse of the end game they are quick with the standing ovations. Love that! Thanks for visiting.

  10. Hi Allegra!

    Great thoughts! This is something that I have been really focusing on the last 4 years. I lived so many years trying to be the me that others wanted me to be. It only led to frustration. Finding my true self and living out my true self has been liberating!

    Kevin

    1. Hey Kevin!
      Did it take you a long time to find your true self? I remember going to college for pre-law and suddenly discovering in my junior year (while taking law pre-requisite classes) that I had no real interest in being an attorney. It turns out practicing law is nothing like the TV show, LA Law. Oops! Then I had absolutely no idea what I really wanted to do because I had never considered it, I was simply following the path that had been laid out for me. Scary! Congrats on investing the time required for liberation. Be well!

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