When I posted this post a couple weeks ago, I struck a nerve.
By that I really mean the post got a handful more Twitter shares than usual, which I found interesting and warranted some digging.
Here’s the thing: “Authenticity” has become a toxic word. It’s so over-used and it’s so mis-used that it’s easy to dismiss.
And that really sucks.
I think the misuse happens when Instagrammers spray dry shampoo in their dirty hair and call it “authentic” or sip a latte at a sidewalk cafe and caption #authenticliving or whatever–that does not (necessarily) equate to authenticity.
So, what is authenticity?
It’s first knowing your values.
What do you stand for? What’s important to you? What will you fight for and make time for?
Then, it’s aligning those values with your calendar.
In other words, living authentically means arranging your life and your work to be in harmony with your values.
Whether you post about it on social or not doesn’t really matter.
Going back to those two examples: Let’s say the Instagrammer in question chooses not to wash her hair, to spray in dry shampoo, to save the hour it would take her to wash, dry, and style her hair… so that she gets an extra hour in her day to create fresh content. Way to go, girl! But your dirty hair isn’t the story. The dedication to your craft is. #tellitlikeitis
Or, let’s say the cafe-frequenting-latte-sipping blogger visits indie coffee shops to support small businesses. Tell that story, not the laptop lifestyle crud that everyone’s slinging. #shopsmall
I feel like the appearance of living well has superseded the reality of our stories, our real stories.
Storytelling is the most important thing we writers and content creators can do. It’s how humans connect. This increasingly disconnected world needs–craves–more stories that are true, that are genuine, that are, yes, authentic.
Live authentically. Align how you spend your time with your values. Share about it or don’t. But if you do, share it authentically. We want to read your truth, dirty hair or not!
BTW, if you want to dig into this topic in great detail and learn how to truly tell your story… if you want to learn more about authentic blogging… if you need to figure out how to discover and use your authentic voice… I’ve got you!