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Are you for real? I mean, are you being truly transparent, honest & authentic? The words transparency and authenticity have been buzz words for quite some time in the leadership arena. For many, the idea of revealing the raw, unguarded self is unimaginable. For others – they are putting it all out there. Maybe a little bit TMI. I dare say, for most of us, we have only moments where we allow others to glimpse inside our hearts, see who we really are; vulnerable, messy, insecure and a little scared.

Maybe, like me you were a good little girl or boy - always trying to do right – and proud to say you never (or rarely) lied. My dad, Major Mullins taught me – rather demanded that my brothers and I tell the truth. That’s probably why I’ve been described as brutally honest since I was a teenager. Can I get an amen from other brutally honest people? Thank goodness I gained some diplomacy and tact over the last many years! But, have I always presented my honest, authentic self to others? Well, I thought I had.

Recently however, I’ve discovered that true authenticity isn’t about blurting out the truth, it’s more about revealing the not so pretty layers of the inner man or woman. What’s beneath the outward, polished, professional life that looks so appealing. Taking off the masks that we’ve worn for so long that have served well to protect our fragile hearts and egos. Masks that have been the walls protecting the authentic self.

My journey has led me to this point for which I’m grateful; slowly peeling back the layers of pretense to discover the essence of who I am and who I’m meant to be. This sometimes difficult, sometimes joyful ability to be true to myself and true to others is the very thing that enables me to live out my calling and be a value to others; one of the many fruits of living an authentic life. Have you begun blessing the world with your truly authentic self?

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