Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.- Brené Brown
In Leo Tolstoy’s work The Death of Ivan Ilych, we learn that for life to be meaningful we need to have a strong bond both with human relationships and nature. Like Ivan in this enthralling book, a lot of people learn this lesson rather late in life. A lot of people are just passing through this life casually, they ‘go with the flow’. They allow society and other individuals to dictate how they should live their lives. From the cradle to the grave, they wear invisible masks. Who they are and who they portray themselves to be are not the same.
I realized a lot of people are not at peace with themselves because of this inconsistency. They surround themselves with artificiality, afraid of revealing who they really are, lest they are seen as vulnerable. This eventually leads to unfulfillment in life. All these instances inspired me to create The Authenticity Project, which is aimed at identifying and celebrating people who have dared greatly, and who are showcasing a life of authenticity.
Authenticity is not a destination but a journey of deep self-discovery. Being authentic means coming from a real place within where our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values. At its root, authenticity requires self-knowledge and self-awareness. It allows us to connect deeply with others as it requires us to be transparent and vulnerable. Authentic people accept their strengths and weaknesses. They are connected to their values and desires and act deliberately in ways that are consistent with those qualities. True authenticity is being ourselves and not an imitation of what we think we should be.
To create an authentic life we need to redefine our values, keep an open mind, develop a growth mindset and fully embrace vulnerability. We need to eschew inauthenticity, which is characterized by feelings of fraudulence, deception, self-consciousness, and the feeling that we need to keep up appearances.
Living authentically is not stagnant: it is constantly shifting and taking on new forms. If we truly believe in living an authentic life, then we must continually be learning about ourselves, challenging old beliefs and sorting through our baggage. We must face our fears and doubts, and reach deeply within ourselves to find out what makes our heart sing and our spirit soar. Authenticity is finding where our authentic self feels the most alive, free and unburdened — and then having the courage to live from this place.
We all have a unique gift or talent and we must find it and work on it, as it will give us the greatest platform to be who we must be and as such serve humanity accordingly. Authenticity rules, and should be embedded in the very core of our lives. Be yourself, do what you love, and with such passion that you will bring contentment to the lives of others.
Visit our website tap.mo-issa.com to submit your authentic project. The top three final shortlist of projects will be supported with structured mentorship for a year by a member of the Evaluation Committee, and will be invited to a series of The Shift seminars, hosted by me. Like our Facebook page The Authenticity Project for constant updates on our pioneering living examples, how to submit and the like.
The Authenticity Project : Inspiring People to be their true selves