How to hold yourself accountable to be authentic.

Authenticity is when your actions are a full expression of who you are in a way that contributes to the world. You are in alignment with what life wants from you. The Authentic Way is the awareness that you don’t need to change yourself; you need to come home to yourself.

Words I hear used to describe what it’s like to be authentic, at home with yourself: happy, confident, peaceful, free, brave, calm, inspired, appreciative, alive, fulfilled, ‘you lose all track of time.’

Words used to describe when how you live is not the real you: exhausting, anxious, depressing, sad, irritable, stressed, lonely, disengaged, empty, lost.

How to hold yourself accountable to be authentic:

  1. Decision. Like any choice to change your life, it starts with a decision – a firm resolve to live your life authentically.
  2. A Benchmark. Have a sense of what authenticity feels like to you: have a vision of what “coming home” means to you. Know you’ll be “off course” much of the time in a world that expects much from us.
  3. Community. Authenticity is a lonely journey but it can’t be done alone. Community can come in the way of teachers, guides, confidants, and coaches – those who support you and hold you accountable to be who you are.
  4. Self-Reflection. The authentic journey is a contemplative journey. Reserve time on a regular basis to turn off technology to attend to the voice from within.
  5. Journaling. Regularly writing down your emotions, reflections, dreams, values, progress, and gratitude, can help keep you connected to your authenticity.
  6. Feedback. Be open to how you are impacting others. Stay humble. Being teachable is a core quality of authenticity.
  7. Uniqueness. Create a list of ways you come home to yourself, nourish yourself, and attend to these regularly (e.g. spending time in nature, with good friends, with animals you love, reading books, cooking, going to museums or the theatre, etc.)
  8. Service. Authenticity means bringing your gifts to the world in a way that makes the world better – even in some small way. Be sure you are intentional about making a difference.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year is “My Story,” highlighting that we are all unique with valuable stories of the human experience.

Every one of us has been impacted by our own or a close friend or family member’s mental health challenge. Mental health affects us all. Let’s continue to work together to reduce the barriers for seeking mental health support. And let’s share our diverse stories to emphasize the crucial need for universal mental health care.

If you are in the Cochrane area, join Wayfinders Wellness Society for our open house and BBQ on our ranch this Thursday from 11-2. We are partnering with the town of Cochrane for this event. Register for this and other events this week in the Cochrane community at: https://lnkd.in/gCVpGM8a

To learn more about what we offer at Wayfinders check out our website:
wayfinderswellness.ca

How Does A Leader Demonstrate Authenticity?

One of the best parts of my work is the incredible people I connect with and learn from, one of whom is Geoff Topping, Chief People Officer at Challenger Motor Freight. Amazing guy. Totally authentic.

In one exchange, Geoff mentioned that he created a list of how authenticity can be demonstrated in the workplace. It so inspired me, that I want to pass it on:

Ways Of Demonstrating Authenticity As A Leader:

  1. Admit when you need help, advice, or just an ear. This is a strength, not a weakness.
  2. If you learn something, read something, try something, and it works for you, share it. Don’t take credit for the idea. Share who taught you.
  3. Have mentors, coaches, or confidants; we all have times when we need these people.
  4. If you can and are qualified, be a mentor, coach, or confidant.
  5. Admit that you are a person. We all make mistakes, get sick, and sometimes have personal situations to deal with.
  6. Care about people. Really care. If it’s going to be acting, leadership is not for you; management might be, but not leadership and that is okay.
  7. Think “People First,” which means ensuring people have the opportunity, training, and tools to succeed.
  8. Take personal inventory, and when you’re wrong, admit it.
  9. Always take time in your day or week to reflect on what you need to do better, what you are doing well, and how you can improve.
  10. Take care of your health. Your body and mind are your tools.
  11. We all get Situationally Overwhelmed at times. This is normal and different from being truly overwhelmed. Sometimes, we need to step back and look at our to-do list, tasks, problems, etc., through different glasses.
  12. Find a work-life balance or blend that works for you, but remember that yours will not work for everyone on your team; help your people find one that works for them and the organization.

Thank you, sincerely, Geoff, for inspiring me with your authentic presence.

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S-l-o-w D-o-w-n to Find the Rhythm of Life

Work today can be hectic and intense, with tight deadlines, meetings, and notifications coming at you from every angle. With all that noise it’s hard to focus and get things done—especially when you’re also dealing with stress about your workload.

Over the past few years, researchers have offered different explanations for the rise of anxiety and stress, but three things we know for sure: change is happening quickly, access to information continues to increase, and the development of our brains has not caught up to the bombardment of information coming at us. I’m from a generation where when a newsworthy event occurred, we had until the evening news or the next morning’s paper to hear about it. That is just one example of having a little space in my day.

It’s all instantaneous now. And, while news feeds blast our brains 24/7, we have constant information coming at us. Until about ten to fifteen years ago, it was unavoidable that numerous times throughout your day it was just you alone with your thoughts…while in line at the checkout, waiting for the elevator, walking the dog, commuting to work, at the gym. Now we inundate our minds with unending data, spending up to a half of our waking lives looking down at our cell phones.

Having lost the natural rhythm and cadence of life and connection to ourselves to the tyranny of information bombarding us, it’s no wonder we’re overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed in a way we never have been before.

If you feel compelled to reconnect with your own rhythm of life, to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and recharge your internal batteries, to refresh your perspective on leadership and life, and to be a part of an authentic community who are committed to support each other to stay on track and contribute to what is good, inspiring, and what matters to us, join us in our upcoming Authentic Leadership Academy. https://lnkd.in/gMi2euzp

In this three-day life-changing experience, you will leave with the clarity of knowing what matters and the permission to stop trying to do it all, to reset your internal compass and rediscover how you can make your highest contribution toward the things that truly matter.

The Missing Link Of Authenticity

Carl Rogers, a founder of humanistic psychology, focused much of his work on the problem of authority. Rigid power hierarchies had led to oppression in many spheres of life and he pioneered a movement that liberated individuals from these authority structures. People are naturally good, he believed, and can be trusted to do their own self-actualization.

David Brooks, in his insightful article, “How America Got Mean,” (The Atlantic, September 2023), stated that “a cluster of phenomenally successful books appeared in the decade after World War II, making the case that, as Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman wrote in Peace of Mind (1946), ‘thou shalt not be afraid of thy hidden impulses. People can trust the goodness inside.’ His book topped the New York Times best-seller list for 58 weeks. Dr. Spock’s first child-rearing manual was published the same year. That was followed by books like The Power of Positive Thinking (1952).

According to this ethos, morality is not something that we develop in communities. It’s nurtured by connecting with our authentic self and finding our true inner voice. If people are naturally good, we don’t need moral formation; we just need to let people get in touch with themselves.”

While these pioneers led the way to the opening of authenticity, there’s a missing link – a perspective that many still do not understand. I remember sitting on an airplane talking to an executive about authenticity when not long after our conversation he started flirting with the flight attendant. When she went to get his drink he turned to me and said that he likes to challenge himself to see if he can get the flight attendant into his hotel room. “It’s my authentic self,” he said with a wink.

While the early pioneers in the personal development field broke down many patriarchal, rigid, and dehumanizing authority structures and gave birth to new freedom, we know now, with our current consciousness, that they could only take us so far. We do, in fact, need to be concerned about some of those hidden impulses. Just because you have a desire doesn’t necessarily mean it’s authentic. To get to your true authentic self beneath your impulses and cravings, you need a community. And your inner child needs some good old-fashioned discipline.

To learn more about the journey to authenticity, I hope you’ll join me in one of my upcoming complimentary Authentic Leadership Academy Mini-Series: https://lnkd.in/g4M9qpWh

Boxes, Presents, and Presence…

Boxes, Presents, and Presence…

This past weekend my sister was visiting. During our time together, we went through the “boxes.” You know the “boxes.” Ones you dig out of the basement that have old “stuff“ like your parents’ grade school report cards or your junior high basketball trophies or the letters your mother wrote to you while you were at summer camp.

Amidst the boxes, one box in particular intrigued me. It was a box of cards congratulating my parents when I was born. In those days mothers stayed in the hospital long enough that the address on the envelopes was the maternity ward at the hospital.

Yes, these were real cards. Hand-written. With a return address and a stamp. Placed in the mailbox and addressed to my parents. Thirty-six of them in total. The moment I opened that box I realized I wasn’t just born into a family; I was born into a community.

Although there isn’t anything particularly unusual about a box of thirty-six hand-written cards, imagine the undertaking of each card: going to the store, carefully choosing a card, crafting a thoughtful message, buying a stamp. Then going to the post box to send them off – at least an hour for each card.

Recently, my niece had a baby and we sent a quick post on Facebook, and a text with a few emojis congratulating her. All told, it took about sixty seconds.

I’m not suggesting we discard our devices and go back to the “good old days.” They weren’t actually the “good old days,” they were simply the old days with different challenges.

What I am suggesting is that there was some goodness that came out of those old days. There was some time, attention, and presence put into the process of securing, scripting and sending those cards.

Today, we claim to be clever people, efficient and high-powered with well-organized day-timers and to-do lists. But in our zeal to get things done, have we forgotten the simple art of connecting?

Let us make a firm resolve to take time to be present to the lives we live, to stop once in a while and be thoughtful and sensitive to the people we care about. Let us be good to ourselves and to the people around us.