What does it mean to be authentic?

Jina Hudson-Grove

Something that has been playing on my mind a lot lately is what it means to be authentic. Sure authentic means ‘original’ ‘real’ ‘not a copy’ but isn’t everything copied from somewhere? Isn’t that how we learn? How we are inspired? By seeing something or reading something, taking it in, processing it and then letting out the expression of how it had affected us, what it has taught us. So what’s original?


I guess the reason I’m questioning this is because for such a long time I’ve wanted to write again. I’ve thought about sharing my writing, but I’ve often held back when I think of how if might be perceived, at the thought of sharing more of what’s already been shared. The thought of being unoriginal.


That’s when it occurred to me the beauty of that worry. I might sound the same as someone else, hell I might even write what has been written before - very likely. Because the things I’ve seen, the words I’ve read, the conversations I’ve had, have all inspired me and shaped my thoughts, that’s the whole point right?


That’s one of the beautiful things about the (social media) world we live in today - when we openly share, we are actively inspiring and influencing thoughts. That means it’s working - all the ‘real talk’ that everyone is sharing is being heard, people are listening, people are taking it all on board.


So now every time I start to question the authenticity of something, I’ll instead think how amazing it is that these thoughts and actions are spreading. That people are learning and growing. It’s not copying, it’s jumping on the bandwagon, it’s a movement, it’s connecting and continuing the chain of inspiration. So I’ll own my authenticity, as the masterpiece that is my mind, molded and guided by a community of superheros using their powers to change the world, one mind at a time.


I’ll share, write, say and do whatever I feel or whatever is on my mind (as long as it doesn’t cause harm) because you never know how far those thoughts might travel, as we will never know how far they’ve come to reach us and be inspiring us in this moment.


At the end of the day, if it’s a true reflection of something you feel or believe, that is authentic, it’s living your truth NO MATTER WHAT. Regardless of how the seed was planted. 


The other take on this debate about “being authentic” is the whole fake persona thing, putting on a show and placing emphasis on picture-perfecting your life. How do we know the difference between reality that is just being portrayed in an artistic way (because that is genuinely how someone wishes to express themselves) and totally calculated, overly edited bullshit that is so far from any reality. I’ve got more thoughts on this...for another time.

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