When your circumstances invite you to present your true self to others, do you accept the invitation?
I think of authentic communication as sharing the unfiltered essence of ourselves with others, including our identities, feelings, needs, boundaries, and desires.
It’s taken me many years to learn how to communicate this way. I’ve written in prior posts that speaking my truth once felt like an insurmountable challenge, like rolling an elephant up a hill or finding another living being who actually likes Nickelback. (Anyone? No?)
I was plagued by inauthenticity.
I would leave conflicts wishing I’d spoken up for myself; leave social settings feeling totally drained; over-commit to obligations and under-commit to activities that brought me joy; agree to be intimate with people, only to later regret my decision; and give more than I received in the majority of my relationships.
Somewhere beneath the layers of people-pleasing, white lies, and insecurity, I knew there was a bold, confident, self-actualized woman. I wanted, more than anything, to become her.
On the journey to becoming that woman, I have learned that authentic communication is like working a muscle: hard at first, but ever easier with exercise.
As with all exercises, you don’t run the 400 meter dash right out the of gates. You stretch; you jog a lap; you warm up.
Here are nine easy ways you can warm up your authenticity muscle today to prepare for a lifetime of authentic communication.