This blog post originally appeared on Kim Wunner’s own blog. You can find her here
What is Authenticity and what does it have to do with leadership? And, further, why would it be courageous?
I am 100% interested in women leading.
I am also equally interested in women being able to find joy. To flourish in our natural born right to be our best, most fabulous selves. Our authentic selves. However, that kind of flourishing is rarely easy because success never comes without struggle.
Eventually, we all need to address the demons on our road to fabulous. We will need to address the nay-sayers, become friends with the challengers and embrace discomfort. Strengthening ourselves is never easy, but it is well worth the effort.
Trying to find our way, fighting against the odds, is where many of us are currently struggling. Burnout, emptiness and lack of fulfillment are rampant. I am hearing this over and over from very dynamic, grounded and ambitious women.
It has become more and more obvious that the current systems were not made for women to thrive in.
We want more, we want less and everything in between. We want to be ourselves.
For me personally, I don’t want to be in a box, I want to be myself! Looking back, I can see how early in life I struggled with wanting to fit in while still knowing that “fitting in” wasn’t what I was made for.
We all have that story – one where we were working somewhere, living some way, being some person that didn’t feel right? A lot of us are living it now.
Here’s one from my childhood
When I was 10, I was a pee-wee cheerleader.
Decked in blue and gold, knee high socks and floppy bow in my ponytail, I would join the rest of the squad on the playground during recess. This was an elite group and the main activities were to chase boys and make fun of other girls.
But gosh, I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach each afternoon when the playground bell rang – I didn’t want to do any of that but I really (thought) I wanted to be on the squad. But.. . It wasn’t me. That feeling was clear and I was able to recall it when I found myself not living true to myself as I grew into an adult.
Further, our greater institutions that were not built for us are crumbling.. all the big ones. And so as the work place changes in response to the world changing, we get a chance to critically answer the questions of who we are and what we want with authenticity.
How do we do this?
We have to double down on who we are. To know we are enough and trust that our hearts will love us. Finding our inner courage will sustain our fire!
This week, I made a commitment to allow myself to trust and get friendly with the awakening intelligence. That’s right. How about that?
For me, this is an act of courage. To trust and not plan. To trust my wisdom, to slow down, rest and stop being three steps ahead.
What can your act of courage be? I have 3 journal prompts for you:
1. What act of courage can you commit to this week?
2. What action will you take to support that act of courage?
3. What will it feel like when you take that act of courage?
Women, the time is now:
● Ask for the raise
● Advocate for yourself
● Have the difficult conversation
● Wear the crop top
● Dance in the kitchen
● Get the pink highlights
● Take a hooky day
● Join an advocacy group
● Talk to your partner about moving
Courage comes from being you, being different, being authentic. This will show up in your leadership, in your families and in your life.
Start small or take a big wide stroke. Whatever you do, take some action forward.
I see your courage waiting to blossom.
Kim Wunner, Feminist Business and Leadership Coach
Feminist Coaching and Consulting. I support successful women and LGBTQ+ professionals in exploring growth obstacles to help them be the most exceptional leaders they can be.