In this uplifting episode, join C-DANG as she explores the transformative journey of embracing authenticity in the new year. Discover the true meaning of being authentic, learn how to overcome the fear of judgment, and find ways to build authentic relationships. C-DANG will guide you through practical steps to stay true in a digital world and daily practices for living authentically. Expect to walk away with insights on self-awareness and tips to align your actions with your true self for a fulfilling 2024.
Christine Dang (CD):
Hey there, welcome aboard The Dang Good Show! I'm your host, Christine Dang, but you can call me CDang – that's what my friends do. And you're all my friends here! We're launching into 2024 with some serious style and a whole lot of heart!
Today's episode is all about a topic that's super dear to me – it's about being the most authentic version of you. That's right, we're ringing in the new year with a bang and a mission: 'New Year, True You: Embracing Authenticity in 2024.'
Are you geared up to join me on this incredible journey to authenticity? Picture this episode as a warm, heart-to-heart chat, where we'll explore and celebrate everything that makes you, well, YOU. So, grab your favorite pen and paper, or hey, your phone works too (I totally get it if you're a note-taking enthusiast like me), and let's get ready to jump into some real talk and genuine discovery. Here we go!
CD: Let’s get real for a moment – what does it truly mean to be authentic, to be unapologetically you? Dr. Brené Brown, who's pretty much my hero, says authenticity is about shedding the skin of who we think we should be and fully embracing who we really are. It's not just a concept; it's living true to our values, beliefs, and emotions. Can you imagine the freedom of being 100% yourself? Pretty liberating, right? But the big question is, how do we actually get there?
As the last days of 2023 were ticking away, I found myself deep in thought about what matters most to me. Authenticity, I realized, begins with understanding and owning our values. Take mine, for instance – honesty, kindness, respect, compassion, fairness, courage, self-awareness... the list goes on. My life revolves around these values, including my family and friends, and staying honest in all I do. There's this amazing sense of alignment when my actions mirror these values. It's like they're the melody to my life's song.
And when it comes to decision-making, it's all about a heart-to-heart with myself. I often ask, 'Am I being true to my values of kindness and fairness?' If something feels off, it’s back to the drawing board.
Practicing self-awareness? Game-changer! It’s about embracing who I am – the good, the bad, and everything in between. Sure, I've got this knack for understanding others, but patience with myself? That’s my work in progress. Recognizing and working on this has been a huge part of my personal growth. It's about loving the whole package – every strength and every flaw. Because that’s what being authentic is all about, isn’t it?
CD: Let's talk about a huge roadblock to being our true selves – the fear of judgment. It's like this shadow that follows us around, right? Being ourselves, showing our real colors, it can be downright intimidating because, well, who isn't afraid of being judged? But here's a cool twist: Harvard's Amy Cuddy says that authenticity isn't just good for the soul; it actually makes us more likable and trustworthy. That's right, being real wins hearts.
Confronting this fear, though, that's where the real challenge lies. Take me, for instance. There are times I worry people won't think I'm smart enough, and it's paralyzing. But then, I hit the pause button and switch the narrative. I remind myself, 'Hey, we're all human, we all have insecurities.' And just like that, things start to look a bit different, a bit more manageable.
Opening up, being vulnerable – it's tough, but oh, so freeing. I once shared my fear of failing with a friend, and guess what? She had been there too. In sharing our fears, we realized we weren't alone. There's power in that – in discovering that our fears are universal.
And now, I'm embracing curiosity like never before. Instead of running from my fears, I'm learning to explore them, to understand them. Every time I delve into my doubts or share them, it's like I'm on a voyage of self-discovery. It's not just a step; it's a whole journey, and it's teaching me more about myself every single day.
You know that fear of judgment I talked about earlier? Well, it's been a bit of a roadblock for me, especially with a project that's super close to my heart – writing a guide on emotional intelligence. For years, I've been buried in research, constantly 'preparing' myself, and just... hesitating. But here’s the thing: diving into the world of EQ has completely flipped my perspective on life. It’s like unlocking a secret code to understanding people, especially ourselves,, and honestly, I believe it's a giant leap towards 'world peace.'
Imagine if we all got this wisdom as kids. I keep thinking about how much more confident and self-assured I would have been, not afraid of being looked down upon. But hey, life’s a journey, right?
These past few months have been nothing short of a wild adventure. I had to give myself a good pep talk, shake off those feelings of unworthiness, and guess what? I finally did it – I completed the guide! And I’m buzzing with excitement to share it with all of you soon. Keep your eyes peeled for its release in the next month or so. It’s titled “EQ Unlocked: A Guide to Mastering Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Mind.” My hope? That it'll make life just a little more Dang better for each and every one of you.
CD: Ever wonder where the real magic in relationships happens? It's all in those authentic connections. I stumbled upon this fascinating study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships that totally backs this up. It turns out, when our interactions are genuine, they pave the way for deeper, more meaningful connections.
So, how do we build these authentic relationships? Well, it all starts with heartfelt, genuine communication. Picture this: a friend of mine once opened up to her husband about needing more quality time together. She was worried he may think less of her or as being too needy. And guess what? That honest conversation brought them closer than ever. It's incredible how sharing our true thoughts and feelings can bridge gaps and deepen connections.
For those of you who have experienced negative consequences for being truthful, it's possible that the person you're communicating with is not on the same mental or emotional frequency as you. They can only comprehend things based on their own level of understanding.
Now, let's talk about the power of active listening. It's like this superpower we all have. When my friend confides in me about her struggles, I do more than just hear her words; I tune into her emotions, the stories behind her words. This isn't just listening – it's understanding on a whole new level, and it really strengthens our connection.
And then, there's this beautiful thing about embracing our differences. Take my coworker, for instance – we're like night and day in our views. But here's the cool part: instead of clashing, we respect and understand our differences, and you know what? It's added so much richness to our conversations. It goes to show how much we can grow and enrich our relationships by simply acknowledging and celebrating what makes each of us unique. When we put our ego and pride aside, out emerges peace.
CD: Let's dive into something we all grapple with in our digital lives: staying authentic amidst a sea of perfectly curated online personas. Ever feel like what you see online is just a series of highlight reels, and the real, raw stories are left untold? I've been thinking, true authenticity in our digital world hinges on honesty and genuine connections. It's not just about those picture-perfect moments but also about sharing the real, unfiltered experiences – the challenges and the not-so-glamorous bits. That's where the real connection happens, right?
Navigating social media without losing yourself in the comparison game is quite the feat. It's like walking a tightrope sometimes, but here's what keeps me balanced: reminding myself that my path is unique. Whenever I start comparing my journey to someone else's glossy feed, I take a step back and remember – my story is mine alone, and that's its beauty.
And how about the way we interact online? It's so much more than just a double-tap or a quick share. Lately, I’ve been leaning into more meaningful interactions. Like leaving a comment that's a true reflection of my thoughts, or sending a message that's genuinely supportive. It's these little things, these genuine exchanges, that turn our online spaces into communities of real connection and support.
CD: "Every day is a new chapter in the story of living authentically. It's not just some lofty idea; it's a vibrant, day-to-day adventure. Each morning, I wake up and challenge myself with a question: 'How can I be more authentically me today?' It's like setting the stage for a day of genuine self-expression. Take, for example, those moments in meetings when I feel a bit hesitant. I push myself to speak up, to share my ideas, because they matter and they deserve to be heard.
But being true to oneself goes beyond just words. It's about aligning our actions with our deepest values, the ones that really make our hearts sing. For me, that means creating content that goes beyond being just informative. I pour my heart into sharing insights on social and emotional intelligence – areas that have profoundly shaped who I am. My journey, with all its ups and downs, has ignited a fire in me to support others who are on similar paths.
Creating and sharing this content, it's my way of reaching out, of saying, 'Hey, you're not alone in this.' Every podcast, every post, every piece of advice is a part of my soul, crafted to encourage growth, spark awareness, and bring a little more light into someone’s journey.
Honesty in my interactions is another cornerstone of my authenticity. It’s about being real, even when it’s tough. Like the other day, I had to tell a friend how their words hurt me. It wasn't easy, but it was necessary. These moments of honesty don’t just help me stay true to myself; they deepen and strengthen my relationships.
So, here’s to living authentically, to taking those daily steps that bring us closer to our true selves. Every day is an opportunity to be real, to be you, and to make this journey as authentic and enriching as it can be.
CD: And that's a wrap, dear friends! As we step boldly into this new year, let's make it all about embracing the full spectrum of who we are. It's a celebration of every facet of our existence – the joy, the challenges, and the sheer beauty of being human. A huge thank you for walking this path with me today. Keep shining in your unique, incredible way.
Each step you take towards being your authentic self is a step towards a life that’s truly and wonderfully yours. Remember, this isn't just a journey; it’s an adventure without a fixed destination. So until we meet again on The Dang Good Show, keep it real, stay true to yourself, and spread the love. This is CDANG, signing off with a heart full of gratitude. Stay amazing, everyone!