How Authenticity Creates Personal Empowerment
Updated: Jan 5, 2019
Understanding how our programming and filters disempower us
Throughout our lives, our learning has come from our parents, teachers, religious leaders, the media, and other authority figures. They have educated us, given us advice, and told us ‘how things are’. Do we realize that these experiences are what program us? Have we taken the time to ask ourselves if what we have been taught is even right for us? As an example, our education system was created in the industrial era, where conformity was the desired outcome. Does that serve us now?
What do I mean by programming? Just like a computer, when you run a program, you get a defined reaction. If I type the letter ’T’ on the keyboard, a ’T’ shows up on the screen. In many cases, we are the same. We react, instead of choosing to respond. We are programmed with a myriad of experiences, and our reactions become ‘just what we do’.
A filter is something that makes us see things differently. Just like sunglasses can reduce the glare of the sun, our filters can limit our ability to see things in a perspective that serves.
Some examples of where filters and programs give away our power include: worrying about what other people think of us, attachment to our possessions, jobs, bodies, etc. our thoughts, feelings and emotions, fear, guilt, and shame.
Most of the time, these filters are automatic, and we accept them without questioning them. When we learn to question them, we can break free of their limitations.
You are the expert in your own experience.
In a world of conformity, your uniqueness is what sets you apart. By embracing your authenticity, you can add your unique fingerprint to the world like nobody else can. You are the expert in your own experience. By choosing to be authentic, you reclaim your power from any programming that doesn’t serve you.
The interesting thing is that authenticity also exposes vulnerability. You really don’t care what people think of you, so you become an open book. While some people may believe that vulnerability is a weakness, it actually is a place of power. It also provides a great sense of connection with others who may have similar experiences.
When we look around us, authentic people are the most memorable. They are the people that know what they stand for. They are willing to stand alone. People like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Gandhi are great examples of authenticity.
Tools for embracing authenticity
How do we become more authentic? By removing the filters and programming that no longer serve us. Here are a few tools that you can use: