two people shaking hands

Cytonn Photography

Authenticity requires vulnerability, transparency. and integrity. Janet Louise Stephenson

Being authentic means being true to oneself as best we can in every way. In other words, being authentic means:

1) being honest with ourselves in our daily walk and how we engage others

2) being consistent in doing what we should and could do so that we can govern ourselves in alignment with our authentic nature.

With that in mind, if you were asked to introduce yourself to an individual or group how would you do so? What do you think are the most important qualities others need to know about you? Will your introduction differ based on the setting or audience? Should it? If so, why? Are your personal introductions meant to impress others, create a barrier of protection, or simply share who you are? Is who we are enough? Must our introductions be decorated with colorful accents or dramatic improvisations? Sure, if it’s who we really are.

When we introduce ourselves to an individual authentically, we seize the moment to connect with others granting others the comfortable opportunity to do the same. Introductions like this are a wonderful starting point for building a great relationship. People often define themselves by their chosen occupation. Sometimes it’s easy for people to list their accomplishments, degrees earned or specific roles they fulfill in life. Feeling accomplished in life is a wonderful feeling but when our ego is on blast in group settings every introduction after ours pales in comparison. If you were asked to share who you are what would you say? Have you taken the time to think about it? Do you even know? If you don’t know, that’s okay today is the day to begin to figure that out.

I have noticed that when people are asked to introduce themselves in large groups, one speaker, after the next patterns their introduction similar to the person that spoke before them. Following suite may be safe and expected but is it satisfying? Is it honest? In some group settings, I have even discerned an undercurrent of competition among participants as if it really matters. People want to “one-up” the person that spoke before them as if they are better somehow.  

In order for us to give authentic introductions we have to:

1) be willing to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable means not hiding behind titles or roles. It means opening yourself up to your truest essence which is a strength, not a weakness.

2) allow for transparency so that the unseen can be revealed for those listening to clearly hear and observe.

3) show integrity and reliability, knowing that what we share is believable and can be trusted.

Authentic introductions are more about who we are rather than what we do. I do not write as if I have arrived, I am challenged often when it comes to being authentic. However, I have resolved that living authentically is the way I want to exist in this world. So, when challenges come, I work my way through it and keep it moving. I readily acknowledge it takes courage to just be yourself.

Now that you have probably thought about it, what would you say if you were asked to introduce yourself? What does your authentic introduction sound like? Begin here.

1.      Chose five adjectives or descriptive words that describe who you are? They don’t have to be nice words either. Think about why you chose those words. They could range from hot-head to caring.

2.      Choose five core values. It could be anything from respect to sexual freedom. This is about you no one else. Sit with your values for a moment. Consider why those values are important.

3.      Now you’re ready. Write down your new introduction. You could even share it with a friend or in front of a mirror. Pay attention to how you feel.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
― May Sarton

Thank you for reading! Post a comment! Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Copyright by Deana Gordon