At the beginning of the year, a word kept popping up for me and I decided it would be my word for the year. That word is authenticity. The dictionary also uses the term genuineness to mean the same thing. Why did I choose this word? Last year was a year of speaking opportunities, networking groups, and meeting lots of new people. As one who works with people’s real issues and desires to be real myself (when I am aware and having a good day; yes I am human too), I couldn’t help but notice those who’s insecurities scream loudly as they try to cover them up.
There is a posturing that is done in some circles. People want to immediately tell you all the wonderful things they are doing and accomplishing and that “everything is fine.” I am all for focusing on the positive and being optimistic, but hearing that time after time makes me think that they are hiding something and I feel disconnected.
Relationships become closer when we can divulge all of who we are. I find it very difficult to build a relationship with someone who never has anything wrong in their life; never has an off day; never needs to lean on someone else. Now I am not talking about someone who complains about every ache and pain, someone who looks for pity at every turn or is just plain negative. I am talking about being genuine, being authentic.
So, as I was pondering my experiences I began to wonder how I show up to others. Can I hold on to my sense of self, show up in a professional capacity, yet still be real? Can I be comfortable in my own skin and be totally present for others, not pretending, not wearing a mask, but being fully human? What do I do when I feel insecure? What am I afraid to show people about myself? Am I worried about “what they will think”?
On my way to accomplish my year of authenticity, I created a board of quotes. One of my favorite people right now is Brene Brown, who studies shame, authenticity, and wholeheartedness.
Here is one of her quotes. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are”
What’s your word for the year?
Nancy Ryan, LMFT specializes in working with individuals and couples who want deep, satisfying relationships with themselves and their partners. She works with couples who are ready to stop the destructive patterns and want to build the love, friendship and romance back into their partnership.