Oh, and 5 steps towards loving yourself!
I’m sitting at the hairdressers as I write this, head covered in red goop, & it got me thinking about this question. Authenticity is a hot topic these days. Adam Grant wrote an article about being “too authentic” and how, in his opinion, it may stunt your career growth. Brené Brown wrote a response, as Adam had invoked an edited version of her definition of authenticity in his article. For the record, I’m on Brené’s side of this debate. I believe we should all strive to be our authentic selves! But, does dyeing my hair make me less authentic?
Often, we are afraid to “show up” as ourselves, we fear being judged, criticized, and ridiculed. One of life’s big challenges is to hold our heads up, and be proud of who we are. My personal & professional mission is to shine a light on what people have to offer, so that we can all embrace our magnificent selves. Because we all have something. Here are but a few examples…
- A great wisdom, or a simple smile
- A shoulder for a friend, or a platform for hundreds
- A gift for song, or a magic hand with a paint brush
- A quiet peace, or the ability to speak to the masses
So, how do we learn to love our authentic selves and slay the fear of being seen for who we really are? For me, it started with two things: Getting my Inner Critic under wraps (or at least understanding what she sounds like). More about this here. Learning to appreciate my own gifts. Here are 5 steps you can take:
1. Ask someone you trust.
Many of us are great at pointing out other's positives, but are terrible when it comes to our own. Identify a friend or colleague that you know will be honest with you. Ask them to tell you 1 or 2 things that you are awesome at…then BELIEVE them! Remember, you picked them as an honest, upfront person!
2. Do “I AM” right before you go to sleep.
We spend so much time thinking about what we are not... not experienced enough, not young enough, not old enough, etc. Dr. Wayne Dyer talked often about the power of I AM. At night, before you go to sleep, repeat positive “I AM” statements like
- I am kind
- I am Capable
- I am Loving and Loved
Take some time to think of ones that are genuine for you…the things that you like about yourself, even if you’d never admit them to anyone else!
3. Do a Strengths evaluation
Knowing your strengths can go a long way to accepting that you do, indeed, have lovely qualities & have something worthwhile to offer the world. There are two Strength evaluations that I use, VIA Character strength & Strengths Finder 2.0. Doing one of these evaluations can also help you if you got stuck on step 2 above!
4. Do something nice, just for you!
This was something my coach taught me, and I love it!
- Pamper yourself
- Treat yourself
- Buy yourself something that makes you smile
- Go for a quiet walk
Whatever you choose, make it something that you wouldn’t normally do, or that you don’t allow yourself the time for, and then SAVOR IT!
5. Take a leap & take action!
Use your new found self-knowledge and take authentic you out for a test run. I know this sounds scary. To be authentic for many of us means to be vulnerable. Brené writes & talks extensively on vulnerability.
It will be OK. Do it in a safe space to begin with, among trusted friends or family. Once you see how well people respond, you will be empowered to branch out & introduce your new, badass self to the world!
So, back to my original question, Am I still authentic if I dye my hair…..YES, unapologetically, bright red-haired, yes! Authenticity doesn’t come from the outside…
Be kind to one-another,
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