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Who is The Authentic You?

Thanks to Julia Roberts’ new movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love, a lot of people are being prompted to reflect on what matters most to them right now.

Gilbert says that at some point in all of our lives we need to pause and reflect “to take a CT scan on our soul to determine who is the authentic you.”

At our recent Spark & Hustle conference, a big theme was that in order to succeed, you have to do the hard work so that others can instantly “get” who you are.

In a blog last week, one of our speakers, publicist Laura Scholz, talked about how for years she avoided writing about difficult things that had happened to her, preferring instead to put on a happy face and write a blog that was “neat and pretty and upbeat, stocked with great photos and full of great tips about business and entrepreneurship and PR and social media.”

But then she connected with women who “run successful businesses without losing their identities. Who write about anything and everything because that’s who they are. The person and brand are one and the same.”

So she threw out all of those ideas of what a blog “should” be.

“This is my name and my blog, and I can write whatever I want to,” Scholz says. “Because I AM the brand. There is no distinction between Laura Scholz, the person, and Laura Scholz, the writer/speaker/business owner. It’s all part of the same whole, the same essence, the same being. I am who I am. No apologies. And no boundaries.”

We couldn’t agree more. It’s freeing and powerful to be exactly who you are all of the time, not just some of the time.  So who is the authentic you—and how have you discovered your passion and purpose? Let’s all chime in to share experiences of self-discovery and what they mean for us right now.


  1. Mls

    I have finally resigned from a career I never enjoyed. I made no excuses this time.It was now or never. I am unsure about the new path but happy I took the first step.

  2. Deborah

    Love this article. It’s freeing just reading it.

    Where do we get this mentality that we have to be someone else? Where did it come from? That’s what I would like to know. Maybe I need to see this movie?

    I know when I broke the mold (went out on a limb) and built my own website, I got a huge reaction from family members who thought I shouldn’t be doing something like that.

    Well, I stayed true to myself (first time ever) and now have a successful online business.

  3. DC

    I always say, I am who I am misunderstood and all. We are all wired differently and that’s okay. But sometimes in a world of despair, it is hard to be oneself. I recently had an unpleasant experience with a career coach; she crossed the line with her questioning. Rather than let it go, which is what I do sometimes, I felt it was important that I be my authentic self and express to her how irrelevant it was. As a result, she apologized.

  4. I came across that bridge as well recently … and like Ms. Scholz, it has made life, and social media a lot less complicated when you simply release and allow your entire authentic self reveal.

    Great to put out here for us to contemplate Tory and Ms. Scholz ~ kudos

  5. Cynthia

    Well said to all of the above comments and the article! It seems as if the trials that many of us women encounter in the corporate world allow us the opportunity to grow in ways we never thought possible. In my case, I had a job I enjoyed and then my company hired a terrible discriminating boss who hated women. It took FOUR women to get rid of him, but finally the company took action and let him go. In the interim, I decided to accept a position with another company. The book “The Art of War”, my fellow female co-workers and tennis (stress reducer) all helped me make it through this truely awful experience. I know who I am and although I’m not afraid to show it, had to learn how to “play the game” but then seize the opportunity to take action once it presented itself. Thank goodness, many times there is JUSTICE and it was finally achieved.

  6. Hope

    I have been going through an interesting transition from wishing on the sidelines to persuing a career BACK where I was before. Tried to start a second career teaching but as it turned out, the economy threw a wrench in that. So with education as a passion and loving technology I am attempting to put it all together and work in non profit or for education in some capacity.
    First stop was a job offer rescinded because of a bad two years in income and credit history. I learned that even though i have 24 years of corporate experience with no black marks or 24 years of great credit, what you have done recently seems to be the test. SO, I am trying to do things right now and make changes right now. I believe in myself and all the mistakes and choices I made. It doesnt make me wrong, it makes me grow. Another company is interested and I have more interviews scheduled. I will move on and find the right match for me now. (and have no regrets that I do have warts!)

    I love hearing about all this from all these women. Its enlightening and helpful.

    To close, been a different kind of weekend for me another in those life altering ones…My daughter was moved into her dorm for college life and my beautiful little schnauzer of 13 years passed on. She died in my arms and I am lamenting and cherishing the memories and life without both my girls under my roof.

    Time for more growth I guess.


  7. Judy

    I think this is why I have been unsuccessful in my year long job search. I have no idea who I am.

    When I was a young girl, I just wanted to grow up and be a Mommy just like my Mom. Then I got a job in high school, and realized I like having my own money. Then I had a baby but had to work to make ends meet. Then I had a career and could not imagine not going to work everyday. Then the economy cut my career short. Now I am at home with a teenager and can’t imagine not being here when she comes home from school to lament on her day (oh, the drama of middle school).

    At each step of the way, I thought I had what I wanted. And now I am confused. How can I find my authentic self? And what do I do with her when I find her? Even thinking about it scares me.

  8. Deborah Shane

    Someone asked me recently if I have always lived in my passion.No one had actually asked me that before, so I kind of paused and thought about what a compelling question it was. I simply answered “is there any other way”? Not for me.

  9. Hello Ladies & welcome to FREE TO BE ME. Thanks for all chiming in. I thought I was the only one out there taking back ME. I’ve was raised to think such a thing was selfish. I have spent my teen & adult life in someone (excuse me, EVERYONE) elses shadow so that they shine. I’m not unhappy about it because if it made them better then to God be the Glory. Now I’m vowing to do the same for myself. I will walk out on faith and try out some of the things that have been in my head and heart for the past 30 years. Pray with me on this journey. I will be remembering each of you in mine!

  10. Alison Hill

    ‘Being myself’, and letting my authentic personality and passion flow during my talks, presentations, and workshops, is what makes people really enjoy them, I have been told! I possess a dry sense of humor, do not suffer fools gladly, and never pretend to be someone I’m not. I know who I am and what I am capable of. It’s taken a long time to reach this level of confidence. Having a dream you believe in and pursuing it with all your heart is the key!

  11. MC

    Just being me. That’s all that’s important. Because of a great job coach who believed in me, I hope to have a job very soon as a volunteer assistant computer literacy coach. Eventually, the word volunteer will not be a part of the equasion. By knowing what my goals were when I went to a vocational training facility for people with disabilities. When being evaluated, I made things easy for myself and staff by telling them what I planned to do after evaluation. I actually reached my goal.

  12. It took me coming home to really get clear on what is most important to me – living a life of service to family and community. I always assumed that once I got my priorities straight that everything else would be easier – not so. While taking care of family is very satisfying, I find myself needing to do a better job of finding balance in my life. It is also surprisingly difficult to stand my ground on my need to pursue entrepreneurship instead of getting a job – something some family members simply can’t understand. But after twenty years of steady but unsatisfying work, I refuse to spend another twenty years of my life simply existing just to make others full comfortable. I tell my mother that I chose to restructure my life for family, but I will not compromise every inch of my life for anyone. No one deserves that from us.

  13. Jean

    I like all of your followers have chosen to have Tory be my mentor, thank you very much, the book, the website, and any other info I can find have become my daily workout….that is how determined I am to have my own business! The thing is, although I know I am capable, I am having some difficulty getting started….Yes I purchased the online job club, that I am looking so foward to..I have gotten so tired of working for a company that is anything but authentic, I just have to take a stand and chose for myself not to be a part of that anymore… I think positive for all of us working towards the same goal. Thankyou for the opprotunity to make my comment.

  14. Wow, Tory, I am just now discovering this (yay google), and I am beyond honored that you mentioned me. I think it’s SO important to be true to yourself to be successful and happy. Thank you for setting such a great example!

  15. KDD

    I’ve just completed reading this article and I am so encouraged by what I read. At 41, divorced 6 months, mother of 2, and having extreme difficulty finding employment in one of the MANY states hard hit due to this recurrent recession, I am now having to find my “Authentic Me”. I recently got accepted into an online graduate school program yet I still pursuing my true interest. Thank you for reminding me to stay the course and not settle because those around be believe they know my course. My life will be live with the responsible freedom I believe I deserve and I am looking forward to finding my long-lasting career.

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