Authenticity, Hustle & Grace: Three Words I'm Tired of Hearing (And Why)

Can we talk about this whole “authenticity” thing for a minute?

Authenticity.

It’s a BIG buzzword right now. In fact, it’s been a big buzzword for the last year or so. It’s become such a big buzzword that it’s almost ironic! I mean, here we all are talking about the importance of authenticity to such an extent that no one seems to have noticed something even more important: All this talk of authenticity has made us inauthentic.

Let me give you an example. About a month ago, I was tuned into one of my FAVORITE online summits, listening to a woman give a talk on the importance of authenticity in life and business. I totally agree that authenticity is important in life and business! But as I listened, I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable, because there were three big takeaways that came up during her talk, which were these:

Number One: Be authentic.

Number Two: Hustle hard.

Number Three: Give yourself grace.

Sound familiar? If you’ve been following any of the big league players in the creative industry for any length of time, it should, because these are the messages we’ve heard on repeat for the last year. So as I listened to this painfully inauthentic speech on authenticity, it got me thinking:

How can any of us ever be our authentic self if all we do is effortlessly parrot the messages we hear from others?

It feels to me like everyone’s trying to figure out this authenticity puzzle, and speaking in our own words is that puzzle piece that just keeps getting lost. It’s like we’re all so busy talking the talk that we’ve forgotten to actually walk the walk!

Now, I’m not saying these messages aren’t valuable or that they aren’t worth promoting. Not at all! I’m simply saying that if there’s a message out there that aligns with your belief system, by all means, share it -- but share it in your own words. Share it in a way that feels genuinely natural to you.

For example, if you LOVE the concept of “giving yourself grace,” and really slowing down and allowing yourself forgiveness, or slowness, or an entire day of chocolate, wine and bath bombs, GREAT! But if the phrase “give yourself grace” isn’t something that you as a person would say, then just don’t say it. Be as authentically you as everyone in this industry wants you to be, and use your own words. Promote your own version of whatever big message or mantra you believe in. Because at the end of the day, THAT is what’s going to make you stand out.

As I was wrapping up this blog post, I couldn't help but wonder how the rest of you are feeling about this topic. Surely I couldn't be the only one on ready to throw a shoe at the next person to reference the phrase "give yourself grace" as if it were their own stroke of genius? So, out of curiosity, I did a quick poll on Instagram. The result?

 
IMG_2364.jpg
 

So what I'm wondering is...

If this is how everyone is feeling, why haven't we changed the conversation yet?

As always, I welcome your opinions -- feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments below! 

Peace, love & puppy hugs,

Jessica

BusinessJessica Strohm