The Downside of Authenticity

Often when I’m coaching someone they begin to balk at the idea of practicing new thoughts that they have decided will better serve them. Even though they don’t have the results in their lives they would like to have, there is a sudden desire to hold onto their “authenticity”. Aren’t I just trying to get them to think more positive thoughts about their life that aren’t true?

I used to say all the time. “It’s so important for me to be genuine and authentic.” Now, from my current vantage point, I can see that, for me, that meant “I need to be able to not move forward in my life in ways that are hard because I have all the feelings that were caused by all the things.”

We are who we think we are. Our authentic self is all the thoughts we have about who we are. Most of these thoughts are unconscious and were programmed in without any input from our best selves. No one asked us if we actually liked or wanted any of those thoughts. Yet so often when we are given the opportunity to really look at those thoughts and change them, we begin to cling to the version of who we think we are that isn’t living the life we want.

We are who we think we are. And if we choose those thoughts on purpose rather than living out the program that was given to us, isn’t this possibly more authentic, because we CHOSE it? Until we truly decide, are we really our selves?

What I see happening in so many people is this sudden clinging to an authentic self or “reality” is really arguing for limiting beliefs.

This makes so much sense. Our primal brain is not interested in us changing or up leveling or deciding we can choose the kind of life we want because this takes work. Our primal brain is not interested in this kind of work. It wants to stay in the cave.

But the more evolved part of our brain knows there is more. And when I’m working with that part of the brain, a client is able to see what’s possible. They glimpse who they might authentically become.

Our authentic self is not found. It is created.