“Ain’t no wrong or no right, just a blessing of the lesson
Clear your path, sing your song, nice and strong and amplifying
Be new, put your past behind you and be you, authentically you
So be new, put your past behind you and be you, authentically you.”
(Kindred the Family Soul)
In the realm of personal development, the word “authenticity” is used often. However, the term is a superficial adjective that generally refers to being original without necessarily involving any genuineness of being. Authenticity involves more than being one of a kind; it implies being truthful and realistic when answering the question: WHO ARE YOU?
Authenticity is not about looking a certain way (i.e. being stylish or funky). Rather it is, according to psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis, “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.” Authentic individuals are those who are deeply aware of how they think and feel; they accept their strengths and weaknesses, work to increase their knowledge, and align their actions and behaviors with their values. Authentic individuals have a desire to serve others; are interested in empowering the people they lead; and are guided by their heart, passion, and compassion as well as their mind. They are positive role models by setting high moral standards, honesty and integrity.
Self-awareness and reflective practice are the heart of authenticity. A self-aware person recognizes how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance. Self-aware people value constructive criticism and feel comfortable talking about their limitations and strengths. According to Daniel Goleman, self-aware individuals are “neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful; rather, they are honest with themselves and with others. Someone who is highly self-aware knows where he is headed and why.”
The question today, Brilliance, are you being “authentically you?” If so, where are you headed and why?
As an adept and authentic educator, Kimberly Harden is committed to helping others improve their communication and leadership skills. Due to her expertise in communication and leadership studies and her revolutionary approach to teaching, Kimberly is a much sought after speaker and guest lecturer in a variety of venues, including the annual International Leadership Association conference. She developed and abides by the LEAD Philosophy which emphasizes love, enthusiasm, awareness, and development. Kimberly motivates students and audience members to take ownership of their education and apply what they learn to their daily lives in order to grow not only personally and professionally, but also to become effective contributors to society. According to Kimberly, “Education is only as good as what it helps us accomplish. It must be active, it must engage our lives, and it must be a process that never ends.” Kimberly earned a master’s degree from Gonzaga University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in transformative educational leadership.
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