Authenticity: How to talk about being authentic…

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver

Have you ever felt trapped, insecure, or like you’re just existing and not living? If you’re anything like me, the answer is yes! For me, it was yes to all 3… before I learned how to not be afraid of being my authentic self.

Why do many of us feel like we aren’t being effective, aren’t being fulfilled or challenged? Like we should be feeling happy about something but we don’t?

I’ll tell you why. Women, girls, and boys alike, are subject to bullying, ridicule, societal pressures and the list goes on and on. We are taught what we should be, how we should feel about things and how we should act.

That’s a lot of “shoulds”, right? Sounds a lot like being forced to be, feel, and act the way someone or society WANTS you to. This doesn’t feel very authentic in nature.

Au·then·tic·i·ty — the quality of being authentic. Synonyms: genuineness, originality; rightfulness, legitimacy, legality, validity…

Understanding authenticity and how to talk to your children about it isn’t as difficult as it might sound. One of the most powerful women in Hollywood, the talented Meryl Streep, visited the topic of authenticity nearly a decade ago. She gave a speech at Columbia University discussing her own meandering path to authenticity. She shared how in high school she adjusted her high-spirited personality to be more sweet and shy in order to appeal to boys.

So how do we teach or learn about authenticity? Simple changes in long-held approaches to influencing girls may truly help to foster authenticity.

Here are just a few ways you can encourage authenticity at home:

  • Model how to respect and value people regardless of the color of their skin, their physical abilities, the language they speak, or their culture.
  • Allow your daughter (granddaughter, niece, etc.) take age-appropriate risks. Grant her independence to make choices about her clothing and personal style to express her authenticity.
  • Teach her to adopt gratitude for who she is and all of her gifts.

You can learn even more tips by heading straight to Amazon and purchasing Simply Be Your Magnificent Self! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to receive more helpful tips about being your most authentic self!

Also, Meryl Streep isn’t the only woman in Hollywood talking about how women need to stand up for themselves and be proud of their talents. Check out Glenn Close’s most recent acceptance speech at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards.