Staying authentic

What is authenticity? How do I maintain it when there are so many other things to be?

I was able to attend the Women’s Leadership Symposium last weekend. I attended a session led by Kat Macfarlane concerning authenticity in the workplace, and her advice inspired me.

This year, this semester in particular, has been one for sincere self-reflection. I find myself wondering each day if I’m becoming the woman I have envisioned or if I am moving into a direction of question marks and self-doubt.

Who am I? Well, I’m:

  • An activist of sorts for various groups, particularly women and young girls seeking guidance and positive affirmation.
  • A student who has been driven her entire life to accomplish everything at once — at times to my detriment.
  • A loyal friend who values true companionship and long-term relationships.
  • A lover of music, fresh food and exercise.
  • Someone who attempts to find the good in everything…again, sometimes to my detriment.
  • Determined to uphold my personal integrity throughout everything I do.

Being authentic means that I’m being myself. When I have those moments of self-doubt or question what the purpose of going the extra mile is, I realize that I’m being my most authentic self.

I love being productive, which makes going the extra mile that much sweeter. I love trying new things and challenging myself, which is evident in my ever-changing gym routines and in my determination to test my abilities both inside and outside of the classroom.

Being my most authentic self calls for long days and constant conversation. Do I live in the present? I certainly try. Do I lose sleep worrying or being anxious about my future and prospective opportunities? Absolutely. Do I feel like I’m trying too hard? Sometimes. I wish I could change these personality traits at times, but I know that’s impossible. Instead I’ll remain authentic and work diligently to lose the self-doubt.

Do you ever feel this way? Any advice for those down moments?

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