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Written by: Ryan Storey, Speakeasy Faculty

As a society, we have been through it in the past year and a half. A period marked by quarantine, working from home, and social distancing. While there may have been negatives resulting from recent events, there are always positives birthed from adversity; one of which has been the opportunity for self-reflection.  

While taking the time throughout the pandemic for more inward focus, I have repeatedly found myself asking the question of “who is my authentic self?” While this will always be an ongoing quest for me, I think it is important to celebrate the significant milestones in the journey of finding one’s genuine self. 

This pandemic provided me an opportunity to take a deep dive into discovering my authenticity. The month of June will be PRIDE month for those of us in the LGBTQIA+ community, and while this is our celebration as a community, it is also everyone’s celebration for inclusion. I see it as a celebration of one’s AUTHENTICITY, which is unique to each of us and is the very core of what makes us each special.  

What Is Authenticity To Me 

 I believe growth is everchanging. Remaining authentic and genuine to who you are can become a stabilizing force in all aspects of your life.  

As an Instructor at Speakeasy, I am coaching clients on their communication abilities and helping them to unearth AUTHENTICITY within themselves on their communication journey.  

Although I coach others on their quest, I have realized that I have not always been the most authentic version of myself. This could be a result of internal or external demands or pressures. However, understanding these demands can help peel the layers to see yourself for who you truly are.   

The Journey Is Not Easy

Personally, this pandemic has challenged me to address those demands and pressures. It has caused me to take an honest look at my strengths and weaknesses. It has given me the courage to overcome my insecurities and begin to see myself as others see me. I help my clients embrace their authentic selves as a means for growing their confidence rather than seeing it as a hindrance.

Our client’s experience is not always easy due to the nature of the journey. Can you be your most authentic self without knowing who you are and how others perceive you? They are challenged, which at times can lead to some level of discomfort as they grow and become more self-aware. In the end, our clients feel it was well worth it.

Take Pride in Who You Are 

During this month, I would like to challenge you to consider who your authentic self is – as life is about discovering this answer. What matters is, are you willing to self-reflect, challenge yourself, and celebrate who you are? Be authentic and show others your true authentic self. I guarantee you that when you do, others will respect, listen, engage, and commend you for doing so. When this happens, it inspires others to do the same.