One reader of the last (and first) blog post asked me what I wanted to accomplish with this blog. That was a great and thought-provoking question. Even before this blogspot was started, I have been giving a lot of thought on what it means to be authentic, to be genuine. “Of course it means being really who we are meant to be!” you say? Do you know who that is for you?
As I have done my counseling and life coaching in the last several years, I realize that even older adults who are well grounded, intelligent and quite competent sometimes struggle to answer the question of “What are your personal values?” Often, the first responses are “family”, which is often (in my social circles) followed by “faith”. They may name other important values. All which are excellent and worthy to follow. So, then I ask, “ When you are stressed out or feeling off center, are these the values that help you to refocus on the life that is important to you and the ones that help you to be grounded again?”
My understanding of authenticity is about not only being genuine, it is also about being the person that God has created you and I to be. Looking for the person within that finds energy in what I am doing, living out of my core values, and utilizing them to help me steer through life experiences. For most life coaching clients, I will ask this question to them about their core values. If they stammer, say “I don’t know”, or what do you mean?, then I realize that they need to know what their own foundation is before they can build on it. If you don’t know what is most important in your life and what personal core values guide you, how can you make your best decisions?