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There’s a word that I kind of hate. Want to know what it is? Well, you don’t have a choice. Here it is. Authenticity. There you go. I’ve confessed. With my confession let’s talk about the first one. Authenticity. I hate it. Really. It’s so over rated. It’s so misconstrued. And yet it’s part of our culture. “I like them, they’re SO authentic.” Give me a break. I want to hurl.

What’s the deal with authenticity? Tons of people want it. Most don’t have a clue of what it means. An in all honesty and transparency — I don’t either. But I do have some thoughts. Let’s start with some Shakespeare

[shareable]This above all: To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. – Hamlet, Shakespeare[/shareable]

Your friends and family all struggle with this one. Being authentic. Being real is kind of tough. Cause when you show your weaknesses. When you show that your feelings can get hurt, people don’t know how to handle it. Maybe they’ll respond by mocking you.

Here’s a little secret. Everyone struggles. Everyone has hurts and pain. We all struggle with being scared. We all struggle with having negative or bad thoughts. When we don’t allow people into our hurt and fear this happens. How you respond in those times will help you know what kind of leader you will be.

There was a really popular song on itunes and the radio. My kids sing it like crazy. There’s even a Minecraft version of it. It’s called Demons by Imagine Dragons. Now, this song isn’t about devils that are red and have horns and a pitchfork. It is about how we all struggle and how we need to be real with the people around us. Here are some of the lyrics:

“When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold
I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide
When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”
Being authentic. Being real means that we let people see us just as we are. Big scary warts and all!
Here’s the deal around this. There’s no middle ground with authenticity. Either you are authentic or you’re not. And, what I know about authenticity is that people prefer it over being fake. They may not initially agree, but eventually they will.
So, what kind of leader do you want to be? My guess is that you’re telling yourself that you want to be authentic. You want to be real. Don’t we all? But our inner desire and reality are very, very different.

Question: What is it about you that’s keeping you from being from authentic and real? What are you willing to do to get there?