I love quotes. I always have. There is something so tangible about a "bite-sized" piece of wisdom, especially when it comes from your role model. For me, a succinct, profound statement of inspiration is all I need to conquer the day! In the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to learn from Broadway Legend, Kristin Chenoweth, as she was recently named "Artist-in-Residence," at the Wanda L Bass School of Music. Let me tell you, this woman is everything I imagined and so much more. Kristin has a way of connecting with each human being she communicates with. Her larger than life personality and ability to find beauty, even in the face of adversity, is felt all the way from New York City. In our last class with Kristin, she spoke about the importance of authenticity in today's social climate. She said, "You can never apologize for walking into an audition and being 100%, authentically you" Wow. Remember when I said I love quotes? THIS was that "bite sized" genius that inspired this very post. Following that class, I started to ponder what it really means to be genuine. What makes a person authentic? How do you know if someone is being real? The answer: Transparency.
Transparency Feeds Integrity. Kristin speaks a lot on the importance of showing your heart in an audition. I use this example, not because I think you all are auditioning for Broadway's next biggest hit, but because auditions mirror real life. Think about it! In life, we are judged by the first impression we give. The same is true in an audition: you are only seen for a few minutes. During that time, casting has to decide if they want to see you again. That being said, you have no choice but to show YOU when you're given the chance. "So, what separates you from everyone else?" First of all, take comfort in the fact that there has never been another you, nor will there ever be. Second, believe that your uniqueness is your super power, because it is. Continuing with my audition to life analogy, in an audition, one should assume that their talents are exactly what is needed in a particular show. In other words, if you don't believe you're worth it, who else will? Lastly, wear your heart on your sleeve, invite others willingly into your life's journey. I encourage you to be transparent in sharing who you really are, don't hold back. This takes a lot of courage, but I promise, it will be well worth it in the end. Long story short, be you always. Never conform of mimic someone else, because you "can't be them as well as you can be you." Believe that. When you're meeting someone for the first time, let them know the significance they hold in your life. Not through your words, but though the transparency of your actions. This vulnerability will only feed your internal integrity. Kristin has spoken at length about the role transparency plays in integrity. When you're honest with yourself about the person you are on the inside, what's on the outside will project an intangible confidence. This is authenticity. This is a lot easier than it seems. 9/10 we look in the mirror and don't like the person staring back, so we lie to ourselves. We rationalize poor choices in our head, punish ourselves for the flaws we perceive, and work tirelessly to conceal our weaknesses. These very actions, diminish YOUR authenticity. In order to give genuine first impressions, you have to fall in love with who you are first. Establish integrity, express your strength in your transparency, and never apologize for being who you are. Be Brave. This week, friend, I am asking you to be brave. I am challenging you to show your heart and passion in every aspect of your life. I am calling on you to be the best version of yourself, not someone else. Why? Because the world needs YOU. I hope that you can look internally and find honesty and power in your characteristics. The world sees them, allow yourself permission to see them too.