On Authenticity and Toms


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I’ve been at a loss for word lately. I’ve wanted to write and share on the blog but the words just have not come. Part of it has been that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by life; my own “stuff” but really worse than that I’ve been overwhelmed by the world. I’m a feeler so I take the sadness and bad news and pain hard and it stays with me. The worst part has just been sorting through all of the noise on the internet. I’ve been sidelined with cultural fatigue again. So I’ve been trying to take some time for quiet, for listening to God’s still small voice about what say and when to say it. Because the last thing I want to do is add to the noise. It’s just not me.

One of the curses gifts of being a coach is that I have hyper self-awareness. So I can sense when something is going on with me and when I need to have a check in with myself to try to sort through what it might be. Well, one of the tools I use with clients after they’ve gone through the Daring Way™ is to look at Brene’ Brown’s guideposts for wholehearted living and pick one to focus on each month. I am currently doing this with a client and the first one we’re starting with is Cultivating Authenticity and Letting go of what people think.

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. Margaret Young

The guideposts are used to identify behaviors that wholehearted people practice regularly. They involve moving toward/embracing one thing in this case cultivating authenticity and moving away from another “letting go of what people think”.

Anyway, as I was working with my client I realized that one of the reasons I LOVE the Daring Way work is because it is always applicable to myself. So I decided to embrace the work and do it right along with her. Because I think the fact that I’ve been feeling partly “off” is due to the fact that I’ve starting falling into caring too much about what people think.

  • I’ve held off on writing because I want to “write the right thing” and I’m not always sure what that is
  • I’ve spent way too much time on looking at other people’s blogs/web sites and comparing
  • I’ve said almost said yes to things because I wanted to people please
  • I’ve let people’s opinion of me get me down
  • I’ve struggled with owning my story

And that’s just not me.

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are -Brene’ Brown

I have friends who are often trying to give me a makeover. It used to really bother me but now I don’t really take it personally because I know that it’s really about them not me.

You see I’m a jeans and Toms kind of girl. Because of my fibromyalgia I really value comfort and those pieces are my uniform. When it’s cold you’ll find me in my UGG boots. I like my colorful, comfortable Toms or my fuzzy boots. I don’t do heels, I don’t do a lot of makeup and I don’t feel the need to “look” a certain way. I honestly don’t care about impressing people with my wardrobe because one of the things I DO value is simplicity and that means fewer pieces in my closet. And yet it still stings a little when I hear, “you look so pretty when you dress up”.

I think I look really pretty when I’m rocking my daily uniform. I think I’m beautiful when I’m serving my family and reflecting God’s love and grace but that’s because I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m not sure I can say that about everyone but I wish I could.

Unfortunately, I think sometimes authenticity makes people uncomfortable. We’re so wired to hustle for worthiness in our culture that rebelling against the collective “what will people think?” can seem really scary because then people realize that there is in fact a choice.

I am a work in progress but I DO strive to live with authenticity because I’ve found it exhausting to be constantly caring about what people think. Their standards can change and I’m just not willing to keep up and change with them. And also because maybe I AM a bit of a rebel 🙂

Just yesterday I was sitting on the couch with my husband and he commented on my earrings. He said he liked them and I responded with, “Oh, I got these at World Market, I liked them because they were cute and simple hoops and only cost like six bucks!”.

Hubby- “you don’t always have to be simple you know.”

Me- “yes, I do. It’s who I am.”

It is who I am. I’m a girl who’s way more comfortable in $6 silver hoops than diamonds and I’m glad.

Sure I have my moments when I get frustrated about things I DO or don’t do but overall that doesn’t change the fact that I am a kind-hearted, loving person. A good friend and coach. A child of God created as his masterpiece.

And so when I’m feeling “off” I know where to turn, to my Lord and His Word and often to check in with the guideposts because I know they also help keep me on track. Sure I know better, I’ve done the work before but I also KNOW that it’s a constant practice to show up as myself EVERY day.

It’s been a blessing to be intentional about practicing the guideposts and  so I thought I would share about it here. Because maybe you’d like to join me as well? I’ll post about one guidepost each month starting with this one and if you’d like join me in practicing wholehearted living leave me a comment or send me a message so I can encourage you.

How do cultivate authenticity and let go of what people think? Where do you struggle?

For more info on the Guideposts for Wholehearted living check out Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection

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  1. I think the older I get, the easier it becomes to be more myself. That’s not to say that I don’t feel inadequate or that I don’t like to please people.
    I’m probably most susceptible when it comes to body image (always have been) and fretting about which clothes best “hide” certain curves on my body. But that thinking too, is better than it used to be.
    I love Brenee Brown’s statement about authenticity. I think I’ll post that on my fridge or better, mirror, as a reminder that I am uniquely made in the image of God and that is all I need to be. 🙂
    Great article Zohary!

  2. Thanks Caryn! I agree, I have definitely grown more comfortable in my own skin but there are still occasional “triggers” :/
    Yes, it’s a great quote to post on your mirror!

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