Why Authentic is Powerful

Different Birds“Be yourself” is quite a lofty request.

There was a time when to be yourself meant noticing all the things that were wrong with you and avoiding them.

It resulted in a feeling of being wrong, since yourself was all of these things you had to change.

You’d be looking at the weaknesses you had to improve, trying to get better and talking to yourself like this: “I should be better at math. I should _______(fill in the blank).” 

Hate numbers? Do them anyway. Hate spelling, memorize more.

That’s how it used to be at home and at work.

Like a left-handed person being forced to write with their non-dominant hand, you’d squirm to learn to sew or build a table when making things was your least favourite thing.

Then, it changed. At work, it became all about strengths. Work to your strengths, and let others do what you don’t do well.

What a relief. 

But there are many more complexities to this Be Yourself injunction.

Celebrate Your Differences

Winking Owl AuthenticFor instance, what if you didn’t quite fit in?

What if you were one of those introverted kids, teens or adults?

Or geeky ones? Maybe wacky. Even unconventional. Spontaneous. Funny. Creative even. Or deadly serious. Maybe on the morose side.

Now here’s where a bit of help would have been, uh – helpful!

Different was never easy if you didn’t get support for it nor for seeing the gifts in it.

Now, what if you had been told that when you were authentic, you were also most compelling to others?

Would that have blown you away, made life easier?


Does one wild flower tell itself to shine less than another one? 

[Tweet “When you are authentic, you are also most compelling to others.”]

I spent thousands of dollars on a 10-month leadership program where I found out that I was my most compelling self when I was more of me, not less. And certainly not when I was hiding, playing small, or thinking that I was “too much.”

It turns out that if you’ve been through a leadership program, if you’re an entrepreneur or have watched others who are, you know that being yourself is your brand.

And your brand is about what makes you stand out from the rest of the world.

Whether you work in an organization or for yourself, connecting to and being rooted and anchored in yourself is your BIG advantage.

When you bring a unique perspective and co-create with others, you become springboards for each other, the necessary magic ingredients that generate new ideas and new ways of doing things that increase the likelihood that your businesses or organizations will thrive.

A Place You Can Trust

To find out what your own soul wants and needs, what’s essential to your heart, and living from that place, is the job of growing into yourself as the individual you were meant to be and become. 

Carl Jung called this the “individuation” process.

When you are clear on your specific values and what is most meaningful to you, this becomes the compass from which you can navigate easily.

Then, when to say Yes or No is self-evident.

How you spend your time and with whom becomes obvious.

[Tweet “Connecting to & being rooted & anchored in yourself is your BIG advantage.”]

And how you contribute and make an impact is your choice.

You may have spent a great deal of your life trying on many different ways of being yourself, of finding what success means to you, of playing by different rules.

Some fit for you, some didn’t.

At times, you even had to break with the beliefs of your parents, caregivers – and even ancestors.

You can make a life for yourself where you feel comfortable in your skin, where you are valued for your contributions and where you create experiences that fill you up with confidence, joy and hope.

If you want to accelerate your transformation, my program for successful professionals in workplaces are geared to getting you comfortable with bringing more of you, in your own style and letting go of what no longer serves you.

If you want a life that makes you feel great about yourself and inspires you and others, call me for a free complementary session to discuss possibilities – right here. This is an exciting moment for you.

© Miriam Linderman 2015

Top photo credit: Dazzie D / Foter / CC BY

Bottom photo credit: tsbl2000 / Foter / CC BY-ND

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  1. Miriam, how wonderful! I am currently discovering my true self, how I’ve not been the real “Tracie” as I tried to fit in, living my life as I believed others wanted me to live it. What a journey! Love following your journey, as well!
    Take care

  2. The concept of being authentic and how that allows us to step into our own power and attract the people who are right for us (whether in a professional or personal setting) is something I have been thinking about a great deal lately. Something in the air! A very interesting post, thank you!

  3. Lizzie – yes, there’s something in the air. At least something we are ready to hear, or maybe we know ourselves better? It is SO key, this authenticity piece. When I remember that and vulnerability and not needing to show up “looking” a certain way, I am much freer and happier.

  4. It takes as long as it takes doesn’t it, Tracie, to learn the “big” life lessons?

    At the leadership program I attended, I learned – and was encouraged – to step into my eccentric, wacky, witty self whereas I had tried for so long to be serious and “corporate” – burying one to fit into the other. One doesn’t have to exclude the other. In fact doing that is bound to bring misery to self and impoverish both. All parts of us need to be welcomed.

  5. Thank you for being an example of following your passions and living with authenticity.

  6. Wonderful post, Miriam and yes, authenticity as a theme is most definitely in the air – yay!

    The biggest block to feeling free to be ourselves that I’ve found in myself and in 99.9% of the clients I work with, is the mistaken belief, formed way back in childhood, that ‘there’s something wrong with me’. This then runs on the hard drive of the subconscious like a faulty program that makes us hold back and play small (and therefore relatively safe).

    Time to give those Younger Versions of Us some new information and update the operating software!

  7. Yes, Linda, that old stuff is so hardwired and it has generations of conditioning behind it. We learn from our caregivers what they learned from theirs. Re-parenting with acts of self-love and right thinking is a lifelong undertaking for each of us.

    I love that there are methods like Tapping that help to dissolve and reframe those patterns.

  8. Diane, for me it’s a daily stepping up into action process – no matter what. And you are that same example for me of authenticity and vulnerability. xo

  9. Great post Miriam, and yes authenticity is a theme at the moment. And a great one too. I agree with you completely that ‘being yourself is your brand’ and that can be daunting when you’re a business owner.
    My authenticity has happened in stages as I become more comfortable with who I am and the message I have to share. It’s sort of ‘I think I was authentic and now I know I am!’
    I love how I feel when I’m being me, it feels so great why would I want to be anything else?

  10. Lesley, I know that most of the time I felt too much, too big, unlovable and tried to make myself small so I wouldn’t cause a ripple, so I would be liked…Horrible way to live. Then, like most of us, as we get older and have moments of “wiser”, I came out more and more. And then the CTI Co-Active Leadership Program that had us all step into ourselves and dial it up. It’s taken a year to process that and be the loving, quirky, funny and wacky person I am when I feel most comfortable. What a shock! Better late than never is an apt saying for this revelation.This life is here now. Let’s play big Lesley! xo

  11. I absolutely love your messages – so beautifully written.
    I realized the other day I never was like other people – I always followed the interesting, the spiritual and the funny.

    My mantra now is “let your freak flag fly free baby!”


  12. Thanks Julie for acknowledging my messages – ones gleaned through the usual hard-earned and learned life lessons. Let’s at least show young people how to follow their hearts and be their full selves and make an early difference there. And you keep flying that freak flag baby! It’s great on you!

  13. Great post Miriam! Being a solopreneur is one of those roles where all our ‘not enough’ buttons are pushed daily! Being able to lean into the knowledge that we are enough is a MUST if we’re to succeed in this.

    Being authentic is scary, and for myself it’s been a gradual, slow process, and I believe it’s a constant journey. Uncovering our true selves is like peeling an onion, and being able to share that publicly, takes great courage. Gathering courage is like building a muscle, the more you work it the easier it becomes. So glad to see that you’re leading the way in being more authentic – and having fun along the way! 🙂

  14. Oh Ann, yes about those buttons being pushed and it is the ‘Discovery and Rediscovery of Self’ ride of my life. Not sure I’m leading the way in being more me. I sure as heck know I’m working it!

  15. I love that post, Miriam!
    Authenticity has become important for me the moment I realized that when I allow myself to be authentic, I can feel my strength and this powerful force that demands its expression. And somehow, someway … this feels just so good.

  16. Thanks Katrin. Authenticity is tricky because it takes time to understand and know who we are distinct from what we learned and then to actually step into that without worrying about offending those who think, behave, believe differently. The alternative of course is to submit or comply and then our souls shrivel, don’t they?

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