Authenticity is one of those characteristics that you assume you're born with and can exude quite naturally. By definition, it means you are being genuine in your approach to everything you say, do, think and feel. But do we? Truly? Do we go about our daily lives not worrying about how others think of us or afraid of others judging us? 

Look at the number of people on social media - including yours truly - and you can see that we’re putting ourselves out there to contribute to the conversation, to the community. How are we putting ourselves out there though? Each one of us has a distinct voice. But knowing that contributing also lends itself to judgement and scrutiny, we sometimes don’t reveal our true feelings or our authentic self. We want to fit in, we want to be part of a greater whole.

Societal pressures to conform and your own need to feel accepted can distort or limit how authentic you can be. If you’re one of those lucky ones who has it all figured out, congratulations! Please teach me the way! For many of us though, becoming your ideal self where being real, being vulnerable and accepting of yourself and of others requires a journey. A journey that takes courage and self discovery - and this takes time.

As I mentioned to my friend Samantha last night at dinner - I feel like I'm still on this journey. I've only been blogging for a few years but what I've noticed is that I'm finally beginning to find my voice. What I blogged about initially is not what drives me, what lights a fire. It’s not my passion. Writing yet another post on a pair of shoes is fun but not substantive enough for me. I want to help people - I want to contribute by making a difference in someone’s life - whether to encourage, empower, engage or inspire others to live a more balanced life, that is what I can contribute. And that took time to evolve and for me to discover. That's my authentic voice. 

Blogging can be such a wonderful thing. To educate, to connect, to build community. It's an outlet, a channel, a device - all for the purposes of delivering your voice: what matters to you, what you're passionate about that others may share. While the topics may be different for each of us, the desire for community remains the same.

So the net here is, if you're gonna do something, make sure it's something that you can put your heart and soul into. Something that you have knowledge about - that can help others. Don’t do something because everyone else is doing it or because it’s trending. Be true in your voice, to your audience and most importantly, to yourself.