There are two favorite features that I do on my show every week. Friday mornings at 8 a.m. we launch an hour of "Feel Good Friday." It's an hour where we ask nothing more of our listeners than to take a few seconds out of their morning to call the show and tell us something good, anything good. It could be something that happened in their lives that week, something they're planning on doing this weekend or just wanting to say happy birthday to someone they're grateful for. With so much negativity and hate in the 24 hour news cycle, spreading a little good ju-ju around our community can be very powerful.
The other is Michelle's Motivation Monday where I try to give you something to think about as you kick off your work week. A few weeks ago, I chose the quote "Don't trade your authenticity for approval" for that feature. I chose it after a few great conversations with some really great people. Right now, there's a search going on for a few great people to join our work family. One of the positions they're filling is one that I held for quite a few years. A few people have picked my brain about what it takes to be successful in that role and after thinking about it a bit, I eventually settled on "be authentic."
I can't count how many times I was told that I need to feel a certain a way about certain issues "because I was a woman" and I just couldn't bring myself to do it because I truly didn't agree with them. The Women's March was one of those major points of contention. Rather than put on a pink hat and march on the capitol that morning, I went for a run. I got accused of being "anti-woman" for that.
Why would I show up? I may be blessed, but I've never been told I can't do something because I am a woman. I don't feel like people have ignored my voice because I am a woman. I don't feel like I'm deprived of certain opportunities in this country because I am a woman. I don't feel like I don't have control of my body or choices because the way we access birth control may change. (I'm sorry. If I wanted to use it for its true purpose, to avoid pregnancy, there are other ways to control that and you ladies are smart enough to know that. I would hope that it would still be obtainable to those managing other medical conditions or that something similar could be developed to help these women.)
So again, I ask...why would I show up? Bravo to the ladies who did. You felt strongly about those issues and made that known. That's something to be proud of, no matter what. Someone like me showing up "just because I'm a woman and I should care" would actually take away from what you're doing. I just had to be me. I had to be authentic.
I could never get into things or causes because they were "trendy." I've never been a trendy, cool person. I'm forever the girl next door and am unapologetic about it. I think (at least I hope) that honest, authenticity is what draws people to me. I'm never going to be "too cool for the room." In fact, most of the time, I'm just happy you even invited me to the room. I'm quirky and I embrace it. Life's too short to try so hard to fit in.
If you attach yourself to too many things or too many convictions to be all things, to all people you start to get watered down. You start to lose yourself and people can see right through that. Don't trade your authenticity for approval. Be you. Be real. Go far.