Today's guest is the last in August's Authenticity-themed Inspired series. Alisha runs the blog The Alisha Nicole in which she chronicles the events of her business and provides consultations for other bloggers/small businesses. Alisha's business is jewelry, and when I first discovered her blog, her story and her very honest way of telling it, resonated with me. I'm so happy she agreed to participate in the series today! Here are her words about authenticity and the person who inspires her to be herself...
When I think of someone who inspires me daily to be authentic, the first person that comes to mind is my mother. She is not only someone that I look up to for pretty much everything but she has always raised me and my sister to embrace who we truly are. Growing up I never saw her change the way she was in fear of what others would think and she is known as the person who will always give it to you straight (without being rude of course).
Growing up I struggled with wanting to always fit in and often felt like I had to change myself or hide who I really was in order to make friends. It wasn’t until my mother began telling me stories about how she tried hard to be someone she wasn’t when she was younger and how it never worked out in her favor. I remember her telling me that we were all created with different gifts and that I was only hurting myself by trying to change who I was meant to be.
That is something that I’ve continued to hold onto well into my adult years. Authenticity has become so important to me because I want people to know the person behind the brand. When I started my blog I vowed to myself to stay unapologetically authentic. I wanted my readers to know that I’m a real person who goes through real life issues. Of course I’m not rude and some things I still keep private but for the most part I am an open book. I want my blog readers and clients to be able to connect with me on a personal level. That would be nearly impossible if I were too busy trying to be someone else. Unfortunately we live in a world where it is so easy for anyone to get online and just make up a new identity or personality.
Of course I have struggled with that too, and I’m sure most of us have. It's so easy to see what is working for others and try to change our ways to see if it will work for us as well. But I quickly learned that that’s not how it works. When I begin to struggle with staying true to myself, what helps me to stay focused is stepping away. I’ll stop whatever I am doing and ask myself “Am I doing this for me or am I doing this because of others?” Asking that one simple question always puts things into prospective for me and gets me back on track!
We are all here for a different purpose and trying to fit ourselves into what someone else is meant to do will never work. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom, Alisha! Happy Belated Birthday, too, by the way! ;)
Next month in the Inspired series, we'll be hearing from four ladies about who inspires them to practice hospitality! Make sure you stop by!