Monday, May 20, 2013

Authentic People Embody Self-Determination

2nd Day/Principle of Kwanzaa

From a cultural perspective, Kwanzaa, the 7-day, principle-based celebration of family, community, and culture within the African American community, honors kujichagulia as its second principle.  Kujichagulia means self-determination in terms of having an indelible duty to bear the dignity and respect of one's culture and history.  A monumental attribute of being and living authentically embodies the inclusion of our respective cultures and their histories.

From a psychological perspective, R. M. Ryan and E. L. Deci developed the self-determination theory, which is a theory of motivation.  In the context of discovering, being, and living our authentic selves, when we live authentically we also embody self-authored and endorsed behaviors, which is another noted attribute of authenticity.   For the most part, we have displayed behaviors that either hid, guarded, protected, or defended our authentic selves.  Howbeit, we genuinely want to possess the liberty to display who we are in our natural settings at all times.  Commonly, when we be and live our authentic selves we engage in self-authored behaviors that meet our needs and align with our core values.  

When we self-determine to be and live authentically, we: 

  • Possess intrinsic motivation
  • Desire growth and development
  • Embrace our culture and its history
  • Accept other cultures and individual differences
  • Care for our total well-being, including our six domains, which are spiritual, psychological, emotional, sexual, social, and physical (Ryan and Deci, 2000); Webb, 2013).

Whether our self-determination emerges from culturally-based principles, need for autonomy, or  the core value of liberality, we fundamentally strive to discover, be, and live our authentic selves.  To successfully continue on the journey of self-discovery, let's consider eliminating pretenses through hiding, guarding, and protecting our authentic selves.

Being and Becoming Authentic: A Self-Reflective Process:

During this time of self-reflection as Be and Become our authentic selves, let's answer the following questions:  

  1. Where does my self-determination originate from?
  2. Do I possess self-dignity and respect first, then for my culture and its history?  
  3. Do I author and endorse my behaviors?  
Answering these questions may help us to discover more about our authentic selves.  Remember, two attributes of authenticity include dignity and respect for self and our culture and self-authored behaviors.

To hear more about discovering, being, and living our authentic selves, then join me every Monday at 12 noon on the Kingdom Impact Prayer Line by dialing 1.603.488.0700; Code 0462 #1.

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