The extraordinary Oprah Winfrey is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show. Some regard her as the most influential woman in the world.
This is what she said about being her authentic self:
I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I've become. If I had, I'd have done it a lot earlier.
Oprah had an exceptionally successful show because she allowed herself to be authentic, to be real, to be compassionate, and to be passionate. Her authenticity struck a chord with people and made her what she became. A very rich woman.
She made this comment about her wealth. But being authentic goes beyond wealth. Whether you are authentic in being yourself or whether you are pretending to be what you are not makes a difference in every aspect of your life.
The truth is that authenticity often has more to do with your life circumstances than your choices. The painful truth about Oprah is that she had much to overcome in her early life. Many people do. Maybe you too. It's difficult to be authentic when you are afraid, hungry, and trying to protect yourself from harm.
Oprah's capacity to become what she has become is a testament to her resilience and determination. It's also directly related to the producer who recognized her talents and give her the "big break" that made Oprah as rich and famous as she has become.
Authentic self-identity is shaped by many factors. One factor is fear of revealing the truth about yourself, which is often a result of being afraid of the people closest to you. If you live in a dangerous environment, survival takes precedence over attempting to be authentic. And sometimes, you're not authentic because it's easier "to go along to get along"
Choosing to Live Authentically
Whether you are authentic or whether you are pretending to be what you aren't, choosing to be authentic is a powerful tool to get what you truly want in life. What you want is to be authentic about what you care about and what you don't care about, what you are willing to and what you are unwilling to do, what is safe and what is unsafe.