Are you Authentic?
Authenticity is something we increasingly look for in both ourselves, our friends, and our public figures. We want people to ‘be authentic’ and there are whole industries devoted to this.
Whether it’s ‘reality’ tv, politics, business, psychotherapy, or art one thing is clear, authenticity sells.
The question for me however is not mainly whether we are being authentic, but rather what we are being authentic to.
If someone offends me and I feel a sudden swell of rage is it skillful to simply ‘be authentic’ and unload on them with both barrels?
Conversely if someone offends me and I am able to see a bigger picture and navigate the situation with skill and integrity, am I not ‘being authentic’?
In a culture that often fixates on ever changing surfaces ‘authenticity’ can easily become compulsive, nihilistic, and appealing to the lowest common denominator.
If we aim to ‘lean in’ to our depths, to create something, to grow something, to become stronger and of better service then we are challenged, repeatedly.
We are asked what we will be authentic to.
Will we be authentic to our fleeting present?
Will we be authentic to our baser impulses, and our fear?
Will we be authentic to our abiding vision?
Will we be authentic to the courage it takes to see things through?
What are you being authentic to?
Is it serving you?