For decades now, I have counseled, coached, and mentored people regarding the authenticity of their career choices as they relate to their fulfillment in life.
They all have a desire to be true to who they really are; to embrace their deepest and most sacred beliefs and values both professionally and personally. They want to be authentic in the use of their strengths, the uniqueness of their contributions, and recognition of their value.
But too often that does not happen.
While authenticity is a seemingly noble and emotionally charged topic, it has surprisingly not been studied extensively in psychology. Authenticity, at this point, is more about character - though humanistic and empirical psychologists are amassing a scientific body of work to validate what we all feel inherently.
What we can attest to, simply by living and observing, is that authenticity is predicated on character and personality, and are influenced by this concept of emotional authenticity, which brings me back to my clients and students who struggle with achieving authenticity. Why do they - and the vast majority - struggle with achieving authenticity?
Their outside forces are stronger than their internal ones.
Authenticity eludes them because they consistently put themselves in a position to betray who they really are, what they really have to offer, and the ways in which they can profit; effectively diminishing their authenticity, and chances for an authentic life.
Caroline Myss and Oprah discuss how you know if you are experiencing self-betrayal. Watch closely and see if it applies.