I’m going to let you in on a secret: I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with last week’s article.
I fully believe in what I wrote about flowing versus striving, BUT… when I pushed send, the contraction in my body told me that the way I said it wasn’t exactly right somehow. Too long, too business-y, too cerebral. Too blah blah blah.
The voice in my head punched me around a little bit. Told me that I should have waited to start my newsletter until I had planned it all out perfectly… waited until I’d fully practiced and perfected the new writing style that feels more authentic to me now.
Do you get that perfectionist voice in your head too? The one that delights in pointing out you didn’t get something right? That you should have done it differently?
That voice has good intentions, for sure. It wants to keep us safe, but instead it keeps us trapped in a corner feeling bad about ourselves. It prevents us from experimenting with what feels aligned and what doesn’t — those somatic signals of YES and NO in our bodies that tell us when we’re on or off our path.
A YES feels expansive and right; it’s our soul’s way of saying “do more of this.” A NO feels tight, constricting: do less of that. Simple breadcrumbs that unerringly lead us forward.
I’m now writing a memoir about my path to authenticity. This kind of book demands of me a different writing style: a shift from head-based business insights to heart-based stories. And that requires a new way of seeing and moving through the world… one that’s based on feeling, not thinking.
I’m still practicing. Sometimes I get it right; sometimes I don’t. And I’m ok with that.
This is all part of finding our authentic voices, in writing or in life.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”Ernest Hemingway
What’s true for you right now? Underneath the smart thoughts, the fears, the rationalizations, the mask, the expectations — what’s your truth? Embrace it. Marinate in it.
What true sentence can you say to someone right now? I’m scared. I’m sorry. I love you. I feel like an outsider. I don’t feel safe. I screwed up. Whatever’s alive for you that you’re trying to hide… will you share it?
Next week we’ll talk about the fine line we need to walk between authenticity and credibility as a leader. When does vulnerability become a liability?
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