Today I wanted to kick off a new series all about the idea of authenticity. I mean, that’s what this show is all about and I figured I haven’t exactly spoken to it. I asked my guests about it, but I wanted to dive into it and unpack it over a handful of episodes.So to kick this week off, I wanted to talk about authenticity on the broadest level because this idea, this idea of following a path in your life where you have a life of your making is very, very complicated idea. One that when I set out to do it way back 10-15 years ago I thought would be really simple, figure it out, get there, be happy, and what I found is that this is the most difficult but most important process of my life.So I want to break that down for you; what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and what I’ve learned over those years. Essentially, everyone wants to make good choices that lead to a life that works out in the end, right? We want to make a bunch of choices, who to marry, what city to live in, what foods we eat, whether they’re healthy and they get us to the physical shape that we’d like to be in. All sorts of choices. But what does that mean? What does it mean to make a lot of choices that create a life that you’re eventually happy about? The problem becomes how we define a life that makes us happy and how to make the choices that land us there.You may try to define your life by looking to friends, family, trusted mentors, for the answers. But the problem is, the only person that can tell you what you want is you. Within all of us is a deeper wisdom that knows what we want, but most of us railroad right over that wisdom in favor of a life that “makes sense” or meets other people’s’ approval, or give us the hope of fame or fortune. I was that person. I followed the advice of others and I picked a life that wasn’t of my own making. I knew that it would bring a life of potential financial freedom, and that was amazing.But the best part about the decision I made was that I knew in the moment that I was making it that wasn’t what I wanted. I just rationalized it because it made a ton of sense, and I was successful. The worst part was, I was successful. I built a business, I sold it to a Fortune 500 company. I was an executive in a business of 27,000 employees. But in my heart, at every moment I knew this wasn’t the life for me. So even though it made a ton of sense, and even though it met the approvals of so many people, I wasn’t happy.So what happened? What happened was I made choices from an inauthentic place and I didn’t know it. I made choices that spoke to my logical mind, right? The analytic mind. It made sense, but it just wasn’t right for me. So decision after decision, we create a life. Some decisions are small like, “Where do I want to eat dinner?” And some are bigger like, “What relationship do I want to be in? What career do I want to have?” But this is the question, this is ultimately the deciding factor in what creates a life that will bring you long-term, not momentary happiness, but long-term sense of contentment, freedom, joy, that satisfaction.It’s asking yourself the question, “Where do my choices come from?” Do they come from approvals? Fears? Judgements that lead to resentments, anger, and sadness? Or do these choices come from my truth? It’s that simple; make choices from your truth and you’ll build a life, choice by choice, that you love. Doesn’t that make sense? It’s so simple, but the question is, “How?” Maybe you’re just starting out in life and you haven’t made a ton of big decisions that have gone in the wrong direction. But maybe you’re very influenced by the people around you? The question is, “How do I find that deeper wisdom? Where do I find that truth — because all of us have it within us — and start trusting it to make choices from that space?”I don’t always get it right. This isn’t about suddenly you’re making all these amazing choices and they’re always coming from this deep authentic place, and you’re just feeling amazing all the time. Life is stressful, life is difficult, it can be really, really challenging. The pressure to pay the bills and competing issues with family and children, it can wear you down and you can make decisions out of fear, but that’s okay. Once you learn how to tell the difference, to know the difference between the deeper wisdom within yourself, nobody else can tell you the answer but you. When you find that space and you know how to get back to it when you’ve lost your way, it creates the ability to backtrack and come back to building a life that’s meant for you.So I get off course, I make decisions sometimes and I’m like, “What was I thinking? I knew it didn’t feel right, but I rationalized it.” But the time spent between the decision that got me off track and course correcting, is a lot shorter. So I don’t find myself waking up two, three, four years later wondering, “How did I get here?” So the next few episodes are going to be specifically on the how. We’re going to cover five steps. Awareness: I know everybody talks about awareness but truly, without it you cannot start this process. It is impossible. So we’ll talk about breath and your body and how it has indications and value for beginning this process.The second step is removing blame completely and switching over to total personal responsibility as your life model. The third step is getting out the victim mindset, ditching it completely and recognizing that you have a choice in every moment and how you to switch that framework around in your life. The fourth step is taking action from your truth. Because we don’t know anything about ourselves. Life is an endless iteration. So we want to take action, iterate, pivot, keep going. So we’ll talk about what that means, and then the fifth step is to learn who you are through that process of taking action, without blame, without victim, with awareness, you’re going to start to locate that inner wisdom, you’ll find what your talents and joys are because through that action you’ll see what works and doesn’t work if you know how to function from your deeper self.So you’re going to start to learn again how to locate that wisdom and take action from it through action. Finally, living your authentic life. When we get there we learn where the space is and we love making choices and we trust ourselves again, life keeps moving, creating new challenges, really big decisions and choices that can kick all of this stuff back up. So how do you navigate through the storm? Hope you liked this episode. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you have any issues with this, questions about it, feel free to send me a note, and thank you and listening.Thanks for ListeningAgain, thank you so much for your support! Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes if you haven’t already!Episode Resources