Authenticity: Meaningless to Meaningful

In July, I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland, OR, where there was a lot of discussion about Authenticity. The conclusion is, if you’re your authentic self, you’ll be successful and have a ton fun in life. Authenticity, this week’s word.

I’m looking for my authentic self. I have a vision of me searching in a jungle, all decked out in khaki, complete with the wide brimmed hat. But instead of a real jungle, it is the thick weeds in my brain that I’m hacking through to find my magical authentic self. There I am in the clearing, a cool woman who knows all, comfortable with herself, immune to what others think and having a blast.

Before I get there, I’m riddled with questions. Am I the good girl the nuns told me I should be? Am I the thin blond, the media tells me I should be? Am I the tough aggressive (not assertive) working girl? No, but I know these life-long influences add to my confusion of who my Authentic self is.
So what does any girl who grew up in the Cosmo Quiz age do? She turns to the jungle of modern-day quizzes to help her find her authentic self. The best grown-up one I found is StrengthFinders 2.0, which is highly recommended by two people I admire: John R. Dallas, the author of the book this blog is based on, and personal coach, Arlene Butler.

The quiz doesn’t tell you who your authentic self is, but it does identify your top strengths. These strengths, I believe can be an excellent guide you to your Authenticity.

If you know me, I don’t think there was any surprise in the results. My strengths are: Woo, Adaptability, Empathy, Communication, and Individualization.

I have to say Woo, (love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over) sounded a bit too whimsical for the real world! But, what is wrong with meeting new people and having them on your side? When I add in being empathetic, communicating well and recognizing their individuality, my woo can be pretty powerful. Therefore, being authentic is powerful.
I recognize that Authenticity is a buzz word. In a New York Times article about authenticity, Naomi S. Barton, a linguistics professor at American University, believes that authentic has become a fad. Barton believes that it has been used so often, it’s actually becoming meaningless.
No wonder I’m confused about Authenticity, it means so much and yet now nothing?

I don’t believe Authenticity is meaningless, bit overused, but still powerful. Take a look at Urban Dictionary’s definition: Being who you are, listening to yourself and making your own decisions, rather than buying all the crap society foists on you. Keep it real.

Let me know how you keep it real in a world that tells you otherwise.
Enjoy being your authentic self.
And, Happy Birthday to my sister Delia, a true authentic  person.

What is your secret Aspiration?

We all have them. Some are good, some can be dangerous and others can be darn fun. Some we share, some we keep hidden away in the depth of our soul. What are they? Aspirations. This week’s word.
In John R. Dallas’s chapter about Aspiration* he asks: “What did you aspire to as a child?” When I gave this some thought, two things came to mind. One was my youthful dream of becoming a stewardess. Remember, this was the late 60‘s-early 70‘s — the glamour days of travel. You wore great uniforms, traveled to exotic places and met men. There were piano lounges, even for those in coach. How divine!
My other goal was to be a grand hostess. I was in awe of the glamorous movies and their extravagant parties. The elegant dresses, the handsome men who liked to dance and a dreamy love affair. “Philadelphia Story” and the remake of “HIgh Society” are wonderful examples. Didn’t Louis Armstrong perform at all of the important parties?
My grand hostess aspiration was fueled by my favorite Christmas gift, Little Hostess Buffet. I was six when I received the beige plastic furniture with faux molding that had everything a girl needed to toss the most elegant of parties.  
Not surprisingly, “stewardess” disappeared from my list when I learned you had to clean up after others. Grand Hostess went out as well, because it wasn’t considered a career.
One of the many things that is becoming clearer while writing this blog is that aspirations needn’t be career oriented.

The reason I wanted to be a stewardess or in today’s terminology, a flight attendant, wasn’t because it was a career, it was because I wanted to see the world, meet knew people. The reason why I wanted to be a grand hostess, is because I love bringing people together in a festive atmosphere. Great connections can be made in both entertaining and traveling. Just take a look at Laura Schwartz’s book, Eat, Drink and Succeed! Great things can happen when having fun.

I moved away from entertaining, part financial (24 furlough days can hurt a budget–more about that in later blogs), part laziness, and part the fear of leaving someone off the list. Writing this blog holds me accountable. So world, I’ll  start regularly entertaining again and let you know the outcome. Perhaps I’ll become a 21st century Pamela Harriman (without the affairs!).
I continue to work on my aspiration of traveling and reaching the goal of visiting all 50 states. I have ten to go. I’ll knock one off this summer when I travel to Portland, Oregon for the World Domination Summit.
Maybe my aspirations haven’t changed, just the road to get there is different.

Please share your aspirations. Try putting out one that has previously been secret to you only. Perhaps by sharing you may be able to reach them.  Enjoy!

*For those of you new to the blog, these posts are inspired by John R. Dallas’  “We need to Have A Word.”  It’s my 52+ week journey of exploring the impact of words in this Twitter world.  If you would like to start at the beginning, go to: http://tinyurl.com/oyl69cn.