I have found my clients to be very courageous in the face of rejection, waiting to hear from a potential employer or reaching out to a boss or co-worker when a difficult conversation is needed.

Brené Brown, PhD. (benebrown.com) calls herself a researcher + story teller and talks about courage.  She is also an author, offers eCourses and workshops and is a TED presenter.  She focuses on issues related to vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.  Her 3 books are: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and Gifts of Imperfection.

Dr. Brown posted a response to Adam Grant’s comments about authenticity on Linkedin Pulse, published on June 5, 2016, entitled:

‘My response to Adam Grant’s New York Times Op/ED:  Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice.’

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dangers-being-authentic-adam-grant; the original article was posted in the NY Times on June 4, 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/opinion/sunday/unless-youre-oprah-be-yourself-is-terrible-advice.html

In the article she included the following quote:

In my research, I found that the core of authenticity is the courage to be imperfect, vulnerable, and to set boundaries.”    –Bené Brown, PhD.

 This quote and the article reflects many of the conversations I have had with clients to help them have the courage to overcome internal and external obstacles:  to be more visible; more assertive; more confident in the workplace and when searching for work.

I believe to be ‘authentic’ means being genuine, being reliable, being truthful and being credible. I believe authenticity means that a person feels strong enough to not fall apart after making a mistake.  They can feel vulnerable; they can feel like they are not perfect and yet, they still  feel confident  because they know – inside- they are ok.

For example, if I make a statement to a group of colleagues that is a defensive reaction to a comment, I could just avoid the situation and hope no one notices or remembers.  Or – I could recognize that I was over-reacting and have the courage to acknowledge my behavior and discuss the situation. I will feel  authentic, as well as being true to myself and my colleagues.

In our work and life today, I think we need our internal strength, our courage and authenticity to reach our professional and personal goals.