I felt like a fraud. So I learned to fly an airplane.
At 50,000 feet I thought, “A fraud is flying an airplane.”
So I crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat.
I docked at Cherbourg and thought:
“A fraud has crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat.”
So I took a space shot to the moon.
On the trip home I thought, “A fraud has circled the moon.”
So I took out a full page in the newspaper
And confessed to the world that I was a fraud.
I read the ad and thought:
“A fraud is pretending to be honest.”
Linda: Authenticity is defined in the American Heritage dictionary as genuine, worthy of trust and reliance. It’s in the nature of every human being to be self-trusting. Self-trust is the source of the innate wisdom that is available to us when we are able to connect to the truth that lives within us moment to moment. Unfortunately, social conditioning predisposes us to override our instinctual knowledge in the hopes of gaining approval acceptance, love and happiness. This leaves us vulnerable to the influence of others who offer us what we feel that we lack, resulting in loosing touch with our inner compass.
While most of us realize that the path of social approval has enormous hidden costs, we may not know how to break free from these patterns that have been instilled in us practically since birth. Until we liberate ourselves from these compulsive approval-seeking patterns, the possibility of true freedom and authenticity remains an unfulfilled dream.
The good news is that it is possible to neutralize these patterns that have constricted our life experience for decades. The practice of radical authenticity offers the possibility of restoring our precious connection, enhancing our ability to be self-directed. The technology for self-liberation is available to those who are unwilling to continue to live a fragmented and fear driven existence, and are who possessed by a burning desire to experience wholeness and inner peace.
The practice of radical authenticity utilizes specific practices that are designed to neutralize the conditioned tendencies that reinforce self-invalidation, mistrust, negative thought patterns, self-doubt, and other perceptions that diminish our vitality. The requirement for this journey is the willingness to risk living from a set of priorities that systematically challenge the defensive and controlling life structures that provide us with the illusion of security at the expense of our deepest longings.
Here are some tasks that help us to grow our authenticity:
- Keeping agreements by doing what we say we will do.
- Living our commitments
- Showing up to be fully present
- Getting real
- Trusting our inner wisdom
- Living from our deepest values
- Going below superficiality to what has meaning
- Remaining open rather than being reactive or defensive.
- Taking responsibility
- Being consistently trustworthy
We will not free ourselves completely and permanently from these patterns, but we will begin to recognize and take advantage of the moments in life that provide us with pattern-bursting opportunities. We develop self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-trust through living with presence and purpose. We take the time to distinguish between truth and perception, intention from desire, and power from force. We practice communicating from our experience rather that about our experience.
As we grow in authenticity, we cultivate intentionality, strengthen our motivation, identify our competing commitments, and develop courage to practice of risk-taking. We heal our damaged self-trust. We also identify and come to terms with past incompletions and experience the power of vulnerability. In taking on these practices, we will set ourselves on a life-long path that will promote self-trust, wholeness and passion. It is not for the faint of heart. If you are ready to risk real transformation, it is possible and well worth the effort. Remember what Oscar Wilde says, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”