Monday, May 6, 2013

What is the Authentic Self?

We have been talking about the authentic self on On B.L.A.S.T. Mondays, but what defines the authentic self?  My doctoral dissertation research afforded me the opportunity to develop my own grounded theory titled, Discovering the Authentic Self: The Concurrent Processes of Being and Becoming, which emerged from the research participants’ reflections about their lives and their perceptions of their current selves, where they have been, and what they aspired to be. 

M. C. Maddy (2007), a doctoral student and grounded theorist who developed the theory, Maximizing Potential, defined authenticity as understanding and accepting one's personal traits. The question I pose today is how do you understand and accept your personal traits?  For instance, if you exhibit introvert-like traits rather than those of an extroverted personality type, have you accepted that about yourself? Or do you engage in inauthentic interactions causing incongruence, which evokes a myriad of adverse thoughts and feelings? 

We understand that we all have a social domain, and we inevitably have to interact with other individuals.  The old adage tells us that we are not islands unto ourselves.  Conversely, life offers meaningful vocational and leisure activities that we can enjoy single-handedly.  Candidly, we should seek to involve ourselves in activities that create opportunities for us to relate with ourselves devoid of outside influences. 

As I encourage you to discover, be, and live your authentic selves, today and everyday, I charge you to seek to understand your personal traits.  If your traits serve as hindrances to your growth and development, then make a decision to change them.  If your traits contribute to making you the only one of you that will ever be, then embrace your personal traits and live authentically, today and everyday!!

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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