Wikipedia defines authenticity in philosophy as “a technical term used in psychology as well as existentialist philosophy and aesthetics. In existentialism, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself.”
I like this definition, as I feel it is hard at times to identify a degree of authenticity that is acceptable by society, by jobs, by family and friends, while within each of us we know that we have additional layers of authenticity that we may be hiding.
As I continue growing spiritually, at times I have struggled with being authentic. If the person I’m becoming, revealing, unfolding, may cause a negative reaction in others who have known me for years, do I still show those sides of myself? Or can I simply be authentic by being truthful to myself, and allowing myself to discern what I reveal and don’t reveal to others? Finding the balance seems to be the key.
One example of the struggle I faced is when I had a full time job, and goals to meet in assisting clients creating jobs, raising funds, increasing sales. The goals made tangible sense, but as I developed my skills as a healer, I knew I could be providing a more holistic approach to those clients, which would eventually lead to the results required. Through my personal spiritual growth, it became clear that to truly provide the services I envisioned, I had to leave the job and start my own business.
I’ve seen others struggle with similar issues. How to balance being authentic and true to oneself, while having to work for someone else, and having the pressure to appear/perform/behave a certain way? The same goes for family and friends, as we continue on our spiritual journey, and honor who we truly are, they may feel puzzled by the person we are becoming. Does it mean that it might be time to let those relationships go, or that it would be best not to fully reveal our authentic selves to others?
Join us on #spiritchat Sunday July 27th as we search for answers in understanding and in honoring our Spirit of Authenticity.
Feel free to post your questions in the comments below.
Elisa Balabram is an Intuitive Business and Life Coach, a teacher, a writer, and the author of “Ask Others, Trust Yourself – The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Key to Success”. You can read her blog and learn more about her at www.askotherstrustyourself.com
I invite you to join my co-host, Elisa Balabram (@womenandbiz) and me (@AjmaniK) on twitter in hashtag #SpiritChat (or via the web at http://chat.spiritchat.org – Sunday July 27th 2014 at 9amET / 2pm UK / 6:30pm India, as we explore this topic of authenticity in the context of spirituality. Thank you. – Kumud.