She is super woman


These appear to be concepts at odds with each other. We have a case study right in front of us – the presidential election. As women, we witnessed the continuing divide associated with how women feel they have to present themselves and how they are perceived. No one would deny that Hillary Clinton exhibited strength during the campaign. However, she struggled with presenting herself in a way that would allow the voting public to see the real authentic leader inside. Donald Trump, on the other hand, gave us a front row seat to his authentic self.  Whether you agree with their rhetoric, political positions or how they conducted themselves while campaigning, you could see the stark differences between them.  Even Bernie Sanders illustrated his more authentic self as he fought hard to to capture the Democratic Party nomination.

The lesson from this, once we remove all of our political reactions, should be evident. In a world of the constant newsfeed, the flood of social media, and orchestrated messaging, authenticity is often lost. As members of this audience, we are craving more authentic connections and a more authentic experience. However, we often take our cues from what we see and hear and craft the personas we show to the outside world accordingly. 

To say I had hoped that this would no longer be an issue in 2016 would be an understatement. But, here is where we stand – in this place of confusion between how we show up to succeed, particularly as leaders. It’s an unwritten code, a tightrope-walking exercise, a crapshoot in a world of established stereotypes and judgements.

I continuously fight my urge to be a people-pleaser and fight my intuition to take the road where my discomfort could be a path to my own freedom. I don’t have this totally solved, but I’m a work in progress. So, if you struggle between appearing strong or being authentic, I’m here to tell you they are not mutually exclusive.

We have a way of exhibiting strength when we are more comfortable with the end result.  If we expect to get the outcome we envision, it makes exhibiting our strength feel less risky. We exhibit strength when our confidence is high and we feel more expert in the point of view we represent. We reserve our authenticity for those closest to us, and even then we often hold back. What’s the answer?

[Tweet “Imagine a scenario in which you could use your authenticity to bolster your strength.”]

When you are authentic, you operate from a truthful, comfortable place that is aligned with who you truly are as a person. When you don’t allow others to see who you truly are, you are denying them an opportunity to get to know the real you. I’ll give you an example. When I wrote my book Your Next Chapter: Five Steps to Creating The Life of Your Dreams, I struggled with being vulnerable and authentic. The words and feelings that I had protected for so long behind my wall of privacy actually flowed onto the pages as I was writing. It was cathartic to allow those feelings to flow freely. And do you know what happened? In six months, I’ve had approximately 10,000 downloads and sell books when I speak at events.

My ability to be vulnerable and authentic has become my strength. Those that interact with me know where I stand. I want you to think about how you show up for yourself and others. I want you to experience your authenticity as your strength. It will give you freedom.


  1. Learn to accept yourself, unapologetically.
    • Don’t apologize for your feelings – allow yourself to process them and see what is behind them.

  2. Put yourself at the top of your list – every day.
    • You can’t effectively advocate for anyone else until you can truly advocate for yourself.

  3. Listen actively before you respond so you can craft a response that feels consistent with how you wish to represent your idea.
    • Learn to express what feels right to you, not what you think others expect to hear.

  4. Practice standing your ground and notice what happens.
    • This does require practice, because you may not be used to being specific and committed to your position.

  5. See your authenticity as a new skill. 
    • Don’t be afraid to allow others to get to know who you really are. 


Others around us who are judgmental by nature will more than likely remain that way. But, by you illustrating your authentic self in your interactions, at least they will be judging the “real” you. Don’t add to the judgment that exists by being your own worst critic. Give yourself a break from your inner critic and see what that does for you.

Think of the energy you might be wasting every day trying to “position” yourself. Imagine if you spent that energy and time on something that would nourish you and enhance your happiness. Wouldn’t that feel great?


I hope you will take some of these techniques to heart. Just start by trying some of them. See what happens. My authentic self is asking your authentic self to come forward. I hope you will join me.

If you are interested in learning more, you can download a free chapter of my book. In this download, I give you a glimpse of my authentic self – the one that has bolstered my own strength. You can download a copy using the form below. 

Keep in touch and let me know if this resonated with you.  I want to hit the points that you need in your own personal and professional development.

To your Success,