Each of us is a unique individual. And we each have a distinctive gift of genius that we were born to actualize. This should be a joyous process, but while we’re all entitled to discover our authentic selves on a journey of empowerment, as women we can be distracted, frustrated, inhibited, and intimidated along the way. Further, we may often feel undermined in our quest for selfhood, validity, and our ability to do more, have more, and be more according to our unique talents and skills

Because I respect your humanity and uniqueness, I don’t want to tell you what to think or how to feel. But I do want to help you discover how to think for yourself in a way that honors your authenticity, which is crucial for the joyfulness you crave. Becoming authentic is a lifetime process that’s both delightful and worthwhile, because it frees us from everything that’s false and limiting in creating our highest selves.

 The concept of authenticity has two aspects, which ideally are aligned with one another: our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with others. We’re out of alignment when 1) we seek approval from others, yet never seem to receive it to our satisfaction, and 2) we call ourselves stupid, bad, or some other label that condemns us forever, instead of seeing our actions as learning experiences that lead us closer to our real selves.

 When we communicate to ourselves that we’re not worthy, that we’re not enough, we are our own worst enemy. If someone else talked to us like we often talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t want that person for a friend for very long. So why do we do this? The truth is, at a deep authentic level beyond all external obstacles, we are more than enough. The obstacles are simply all the negative input that we accept as accurate: Some of this may be in our DNA, or it might be from events that happened in the past or criticism from others, especially when we were very young and impressionable. The damage gets reinforced in adulthood, because we’re programmed to expect it, and so the hurtful cycle continues.

 The bottom line is that our relationship with ourselves is most critical to our happiness. Second to this, it’s the basis of our effective or ineffective relationship with others. None of us is perfect: authenticity is not about always being positive and agreeable, and it’s not about ignoring our anger. It’s about being honest with ourselves and others from an accepting, compassionate, and forgiving place in our hearts and minds.

 Authenticity is our healthiest and most natural state of mind. Practicing authenticity is liberating, releasing us from the burden of disempowering influences. While it can without a doubt lead us to more of all the desirable things in life, these things don’t matter if they’re not meaningful to us. We don’t need others’ approval to want them. We only need to establish our own values and live by them. When we do this, I guarantee we’ll find the joy of self-validation.

 Communication and self-expression are my passions and areas of expertise. For as long as I can remember I’ve been researching, writing and speaking about all the ways we can find more happiness, more self-respect, more confidence…more of just about everything we can imagine…on our journey toward authenticity. I want to share my findings and enthusiasm with you on Women Who Walk the Talk. Please feel free to comment, send me a message, and/or contact me on this website at womenwhowalkthetalk.com. We can all learn from one another. You have a unique voice, and each time you use it with respect and compassion for others everyone benefits—it’s win-win-win! 

 Mary Kathryn “M.K.” Jones