5 steps to cultivating authenticity

Leadership coach, Karlyn Percil gives us 5 steps to cultivating authenticity: letting more grace, joy, gratitude & love in.


“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”  – Brene Brown

  1. Conduct a TFT – Test for Truth

    Begin with understanding the rules of the playground/scenario you’re in. When it comes to social media – remember that it is selective information sharing. What we see online is not the entire truth about the lives of the people you follow. Are you comparing your entire life to someone’s chapter? Or paragraph? When feelings of inadequacy or the trolls come out – Test the scenario for truth by asking yourself – Is it true? Is it real? What is the worst that can happen? What are you really afraid of? Doing this allows us to frame the fear – giving us control over the narrative and putting us in the power seat of our lives.

  2. Craft your authenticity story

    What does it feel/look/sound like when you embrace who you are? If you are not trying to live up to a standard of who you think you should be, then who are you. What does it feel like when you are living your authentic life? When the curtains are drawn? Include the parts of who you are that you may not be 100% comfortable with as well as this can be a part of your new normal. If you can’t identify or craft your story – try the opposite – who are you when you are being inauthentic? What parts of yourself don’t feel right or comfortable for you? Identify the alien parts of that character and use that to describe the main character of the movie which is you.

  3. Acknowledge Your Elephant Story: Be Present & Reaffirm your enough-ness

    When we compare ourselves and our lives to others online – we shift our focus from gratitude, from being present to living in the past – to a place of scarcity. Comparison is the breeding ground for scarcity. We do this because of our Elephant Story. Elephant Stories are shame stories – something that we have been through that tells us that we are “not good enough”, “not thin enough”, “not beautiful enough”, “not smart enough” and the list goes on. Unconsciously we compare our lives using these stories as a measuring stick of who we are. (Nothing can be further from the truth). When we acknowledge the Elephant in our lives we stop running, we stop hustling for worthiness and we return to self – to the present, to a place of gratitude and grace – one that reminds us that we are worthy, we are whole, and we are complete and that we are love. We end up disrupting the runaway train of thoughts. Start by using the TFT test as noted in point # 1 (The story you’re telling yourself – Is it true? Is it real? What is the worst that can happen? What am I really afraid of? ) Create a mantra or a gratitude check-in. What are you grateful for about you? Name/write one bold move you’ve taken this past year, Acknowledge what you did really well? What makes you beautiful? And remember that comparison is an opportunity to be kind to yourself. Plus we don’t give ourselves enough credit so this is a great time to start doing so.

  4. Set boundaries

    Set social media and people boundaries. Pay attention to your online intake and browsing. One of my boundaries is “If I post at 8am I won’t go on until 1pm”. Or I give myself permission to be on social media from 12 until 2. Focus on doing things that brings you joy. Set self-talk boundaries as well – be aware of the language you use to talk about yourself to yourself.

  5. Own your story – write your own standard + share your story

    We live up to our standards. The story we tell ourselves about ourselves is the one we try to live up to. Share your authenticity story with your authenticity/vulnerability buddy – this is powerful as it reminds us that we are not alone. Choose people who have earned the right to hear that story. Usually that person have chosen us – so don’t be afraid to share as well. Trust yourself. Honor what comes up. You get to rewrite the Chapter or definition of what a great mother/daughter/wife/friend is every day. That’s your superpower – use it!

Check in with yourself daily and know that the closer you get to your authentic self – that there will be uncomfortable moments as you will be exploring new parts of who you are. Be gentle and kind to yourself and remember that you are enough. You are worthy. And that comparison is an opportunity to be kind to yourself.

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