Keep It Real!

by Brenda M. Hunter, M.A.

There is great joy in just being true to self- of not worrying about what someone will think of you as you express what you really feel, think, believe, treasure or hope for. How refreshing it would be if we could be who we are all the time. This new-age characteristic, referred to as your authentic self, represents the place where your truth lives. It reflects your heart and who you are as you seek to exist in the world of your current reality: your family, friends, job/career and home.

Authentic living is a worthwhile goal. It involves moving toward the powerful integration of your inner world with your outward relationships. When you are being your authentic self, you are not only content to just be, but you are also allowing others to know who you are and what you can offer them.

How often have you been tempted to cover up your true identity- to literally mask your existence as though it was not acceptable? How often have you given a response based on what you thought the hearer wanted to hear rather than on what was in your heart to say. How often have you withheld or denied true thoughts in deference to some prevailing notion? You may be rejected or it may pave the way for something else- an even greater contribution. Perhaps it will provide the light of guidance and encouragement for the coming generations and the welcomed difference needed for the greater good.

A few decades ago, I remember a Sesame Street/Kermit the Frog song, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’. The content of this song didn’t mean much then, but as I pull into the next station of my life, I understand that if green is the skin that you were born into then green is who you are. As the song further points out the wonderful attributes of green, it is ends with: “… I am green and it’ll do fine; it’s beautiful and I think it’s what I want to be.” Being your authentic self may not be easy initially, but like the lyrics of this song, it’s beautiful and right and who you’ll want to be.

As you embark on the next stage of the journey, commit to taking stock of your true feelings, your values and beliefs, your needs, passions and desires-exposing them and expressing them. Share them with your family, your friends and your colleagues. Let them shine as a beacon for the world so that the great qualities that they reflect will not be limited and withheld. Let others see and know the real you as you speak from your heart and from your authentic self. Let who you are be who you are being and help others do the same. Keep it real!

Brenda McCoy Hunter is a public speaker, trainer and the author of Answering the Call: Six Steps to Leadership and Service. Her flagship seminar, “Creative Horizons” focuses on succession leadership and offers an opportunity for pre-retirees to plan for success after their present job ends. She can be reached at 615-319-1223

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