You were born authentic. Now you just have to show up.

Remember when you were little, and you just didn’t care about anything? You would walk right up to anybody on the playground and declare that you were best friends.

We were all born authentic but over time, life experiences chip away at our confidence and teach us that we aren’t good enough and that we don’t measure up to some impossible, unrealistic, and ever-changing standard. It happens to everyone, no one is immune but when it happens to you, it is only natural to feel very alone and exposed.

I remember the first day that this happened to me.

My family moved back to Canada from Tennessee just as I was entering the 2nd grade. I had adopted quite the Southern twang by then and was also a year younger than everyone in my new class. My teacher asked me to stand up in front of the class and introduce myself. Immediately as I started to talk, there were roars of laughter at my “funny” accent, and one girl yelled out “kindergarten baby, wash your face in gravy!”.

I learned right then and there in that one moment that I wasn’t enough, and the confident child that I was, was gone…and for years.

If you always kept that unabashed confidence that you had as a child, who would you be? How would you act? What would you show the world?

Wow, what a freeing thought. To be able to show up as you are without apology and be accepted, but whose standard are you trying to measure up to anyway. Who gets to decide if you are acceptable? I say, only you.

These standards are impossible to achieve because what one person decides is acceptable behavior is not the same for another, so you are constantly chasing the next nod of approval from someone you think is better than you. The worst part, once you get it, they can always change their mind. It’s a losing battle, 100% of the time.

Well, phooey to that.

In the end, all it means to be authentic is to know what’s most important to you (your values) and what you are capable of (your potential), and to live up to that every day. It doesn’t mean kowtowing to someone else’s definition of adequacy.

However, to show up authentically, we also need to be able to trust the people we reveal ourselves to. Again, this is less about them and more about your power to decide who you allow into your life – even if just for a glimmer.

We all know that trolls lurk in the shadows of social media, yet over and over we walk into the open with a target strapped to our chest. Why do we do that? We know the outcome and we know these people are not there to support us or resonate with our message.

For the few that do, the naysayers can be many.

No matter how much you tell yourself you don’t care what they say or what they think, you do, and you adapt your behavior accordingly even without knowing it.

Maybe it’s to put yourself out there as a persona that’s not really you, but an image that “appeals”. Or maybe it’s to aggressively retort every negative comment that comes your way to defend your position. You may self-censor your message or image to make sure that it is “troll”-friendly.

All of that is just armor, a layer of protection between your psyche and those “meanies”, and in the end, that armor breaks down too and you are left exposed and doubting yourself once again.

So should you climb into a hole and hide? No, you just decide who you want to be and who gets to relish in all the value you bring to the table.

You were born authentic, now just figure out who that is and do everything you can to get back to them.

You are good enough….in fact, you are exactly as you should be.

I help women entrepreneurs face their money fears, build self-confidence, and see new possibilities in themselves so they can rediscover the love for their business and joy in their lives knowing they are financially independent and secure. Click the link below to learn more and book your FREE Coaching Consultation Call…

Written by
Holly Wallis, Founder & CoActive Coach
© 2023. All rights reserved.

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