The problem with authenticity.
I have been having multiple discussions with several different people around the topic of authenticity. It feels like the buzz word at the moment—that with intuitive and soul-led living.
I don’t pretend to be a guru in the field of personal development, but I have been working on healing my past traumas and trying to live a life where I am not riddled with guilt, overwhelm, or fear of judgement, and I have been working on building my self-esteem.
I am not special. Many more people are doing this work on themselves—it is a wonderful thing. Synchronicity will have us connecting with more like-minded people, and naturally, our exposure to all that is in the world of personal development increases.
I have noticed this past year that I am now finding posts from the personal development industry quite triggering. Let me expand on this. Not all coaches. Although I have noticed a correlation between how successful a “coach” grows (and by coach I cover life coaches, priestesses, spiritual mentors, healers, and beyond) to how less authentic they can feel to me.
So perhaps there lies my problem? I discuss this matter to find out whether this is an industry issue or my issue. I do feel a little anxious about expressing myself on this but brave enough to be vulnerable and open to be challenged, wrong, or I may even find my words land with the masses.
As a coach achieves greater wealth and a larger reach, I notice that photos are professionally taken and edited, prices are jacked up, and the focus is about having and being “more.” So if I am looking to improve myself, perhaps I subconsciously think being more is having more.
I find this notion somewhat confronting. I don’t disagree that wanting more is not a negative thing, but I worry about what it could do for a person’s psyche and especially their perceived worth. The most popular argument is that with more experience and a wider reach (through undoubtedly working hard) that it is reasonable to charge top dollar. However, for some of the life coaches out there, the time in which the prices increased is not that long. So there is this taught notion that achieving these goals does not need to be hard or take a vast amount of time. Its gets to be easy. This makes me uneasy.
Are we bypassing experiences created by sacrifice, pain, and grit with these “life hacks” and cookie templates? Is it all just an appearance of meaningfulness and commitment? Is that Insta post from a spiritual mentor on the beach meditating and spending time being alone with their thoughts something that they do regularly? Or perhaps it’s been eight months since they’ve done it, and we’ve seen this beautiful photo of them, that one time, claiming they own their success to those continued practices and think, “Sh*t, I am no way near that committed. I must do better—I want to be more like that.”
What if we have been meditating once a week for eight months but now think it’s not enough? In a world full of smoke and mirrors and social media, I am finding it hard to find authentic role models. I am not saying I want to see pics of people in their slacks and crying all the time, but I do want to hear about that occasionally. You say there’s no hierarchy, and not to put you on a pedestal, but where is the relatable content and price point?
The allure and false hope that it gets to be easy may be part of the reason generations are growing up entitled and less resilient. “But she makes it looks easy. If I buy her course and have one-on-one coaching it will be that way for me too? Okay, maybe that wasn’t the right course. I love her energy, and I’ll buy that other one that sounds way more like what I need. I mustn’t believe in myself enough yet. I am not that brave yet. Let’s consume more.”
It’s tricky muddling through this, as I have bought those very same courses and thought those very same things. Some have been great, some I have never started, and some a complete replicate with a ball dusting of fresh glitz.
The thing that is often lacking is a call to action—a call to courage. It may come by being in that coaches energy, or it may come from breaking free and just choosing to believe in your own ability, or really digging deep to find out what the f*ck that actually is, and how you would do things.
Be your own mould, your own coach. There is so much free information out there, so don’t compare your journey or join the cult. Assess how much further ahead you really are after all this coaching. If you don’t feel like you’re “there,” ask yourself why. Could it be that there’s nothing that you need to change or improve about yourself? Wait, what? I know that turned around quickly.
Maybe the biggest thing you could do for your soul right now is to love it fiercely, adore the vessel it resides in, and stop comparing yourself to others—the smoke and mirrors.
I wonder if reading this, you may think I have money blocks or bitterness toward a coach I have been jaded by. I don’t believe I have. I investigate every trigger of mine, and this is me practicing what I preach right now.
I would love your thoughts, and I promise to like you even if they differ to mine. I respect you, and I respect my right to voice my opinion and ask for yours.
*This image is of me, first thing in the morning on my jetty. I have a dress on that I wore to bed, and what you can’t see are my pink UGG boots or dark circles under my eyes because of the light exposure that time in the morning.