The Power of Authenticity

Opening up on social media, or anywhere is tough for some people (all of us). We want to appear as having it together and hide out vulnerability.

Brene Brown talks about what it take to be authentic.

“In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen”

If we let go of who we think we should be, open ourselves up to vulnerability, we can learn compassion, and create authentic connection.

Hard work when we are wired to fight it but ultimately the profitable way to get to the authenticity that makes social media so powerful.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • grooveradio March 20, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Great point Warren. I have found that the more personal I make my writing, the more reaction I get. My editor has encouraged me to infuse more personal authenticity into my book as well. It is a brave step to reveal who you are – faults and all – but the rewards are so much greater than remaining hidden behind an avatar.

  • WarrenWhitlock March 20, 2011, 1:43 pm

    @grooveradio I’m reading @brenebrown book now. Vulnerability takes courage, but is the key to authenticity

  • MichelleSedas March 26, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Yes, there is power in authenticity. People are able to spot, and often tend to gravitate toward, those who are genuine and authentic. It can be a challenge to embrace and expose our weaknesses, but it is, in my opinion, the only way to live. Thanks for the post. :-)

  • BuddyHodges March 26, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Thanks, Warren, for sharing Brene’s profound Ted Talk. It has inspired me to search out her blog and her book. It is so thought-provoking that it is taking me a lot longer than usual to comment on this post. I am still thinking about it. I guess I would like my comment to be perfect! ;-)

    It occurs to me that connection is a 2-way street, and the same people we are trying to impress are wanting to impress us. Trying to be impressive is like a competition to be better than… The people we want to be accepted and loved by are more concerned with whether or not they are perceived as good enough for us to accept and love them. Even if we could make them think we were perfect, we would seem unattractive because we would make them feel “less than.”

    The most attractive way to win friends is to focus attention on the other person with sincere interest. Self-consciousness is counter-productive.

  • KatTansey March 26, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Warren, this video inspired me to read Brene’s book, I Thought It Was Just Me — which led indirectly to my “The Woman Behind the Curtain.” Here’s to the freedom of authenticity:)

  • WarrenWhitlock March 28, 2011, 9:15 am

    @BuddyHodges connection is 2 way, but I am learning that the more focus I put on giving value/love/attention and listening, the less I need to worry about what the other party does

  • Tristan March 29, 2011, 10:56 am

    Whenever I see a video in a post, I skip straight to that. I watch it and take notes and then go back to see what the author of the post said about it and to see if we were on the same page.

    One of the four things I wrote down that I liked was the same thing you liked: “In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen.”

    I think that’s SUPER important when talking about social media. The most valuable way to use social media (in my experience) has been to develop genuine connections and relationships to people. And that’s impossible to do if you’re not willing to be yourself and open yourself up to “being seen.”

    Going along with that, I wrote this down: “Embrace vulerability – What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” I’m not sure if that second part was my commentary or something Brene said, but I thought the idea of embracing our imperfections and embracing those things that yes, could potentially cause us pain was beautiful.

    And finally, to me, the most profound thing she said was that when we numb and tune out the bad, we are simultaneously numbing the good. Wow. That makes so much sense to me. When I think back to people I know who have struggled with addiction and dependence on drugs or alcohol, it’s so clear that those things numb people from all feeling. Of course that’s the point; people want to numb out those bad things. But in so doing they’re also erasing any chance for happiness that can come from the few or many good things that are in their lives.

    Thanks for sharing, Warren!


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