The Authentic Way – Both Alone & Together

Where are you most likely to express authentically? While in community or while being a strong individual?

The more we express our authentic uniqueness, the more likely we are to enjoy fulfillment, prosperity and freedom, …in a word success.

So if success is based on the expression of authentic uniqueness what causes you to feel safe enough and strong to express authentically?

In what environment are you more likely to take a stand? I’ve witnessed heights of individual expression within supportive community that could not have even been birthed walking alone.

But yet there is the beautiful paradox. Standing tall as individuals, pushing back at conformity, best occurs in a connected environment, with the support of others.

In order to come into your own, you must not stand-alone.

Parker Palmer endorses the paradox.

Your most beautiful and most valuable expression of authentic individuality cannot be reached by going it alone.

Being the rugged individual of American myth is actually less courageous, than standing tall in relationship.

Community inspires. Community provides connection and meaning.

The most loving, confident and strongest version of you only emerges in deep connection with others.

Be fully you, while being with me and we’ll see one another as we are meant to be.

Have you experienced bolder individual expression within community or by going solo? Have you experienced unconditional support?


  1. Marcus Goodyear says

    This is where I find the idea of Trinity to be helpful. We understand God as three and one. He is three distinct individuals, but also one distinct individual. A trinitarian God is both individual and community.

    And, man, do I like Parker Palmer. He is too cool.

  2. Hi Marcus – Welcome! I was talking about you as an individual not your God but my mind can make that leap. Yes Parker Palmer is the man. He’s quite the modern day philosopher, warrior of words.

  3. I’ve pursued individual projects that those around me didn’t support (not many – and it is a lot tougher).

    It is lots easier and more enjoyable to be my authentic self when in (supportive) relationships with others.

  4. Great post… For me, I definitely am more authentic when I am alone. The things I do alone are a reflection of who I am…

    But when I’m with friends, I find I’m not as authentic. I hide certain aspects of myself, avoid talking about some topics and just try to be politically correct. At one side I dun wanna offend anyone, but at the other, i’m not authentic as a result.

  5. Hi Evan – Yes I’ve found the same. I’m looking forward to co-creating that safe and powerful space with you.

    Hi Henway – That’s very honest of you to admit some inauthentic expression in the presence of others. I hope you risk more as time goes on because I think you’ll find that folks want you to be you.

  6. Chris Edgar says

    Hi Tom — yes, that’s an interesting thing about being human, isn’t it — that even when we’re physically alone we’re still in relationship with someone else — if I’m working on a project I’m going to unveil to others later, for instance. And all the time we’re influenced by what others have taught us on levels we may never consciously see.

  7. Hi Chris – Yes the influences abound and we can only see a tiny portion of them. That’s why it’s good to place ourselves within environments that bring out our bold, authentic expression. Something you do quite well, my friend.

  8. photo canvas says

    I think, we can incorporate here the nature-nurture process that takes place in a particular individual. The way each one behaves in the community is the result of how they were raised since childhood. Most people who are exposed when they were young are most like outspoken in public. While those who are being repressed during their childhood years are silent people when they get older. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I love this post.

  9. Photo Canvas – Welcome! Our upbringing and conditioning can have a lasting affect on our expression. At the same time it’s wise to realize that we can choose otherwise if it no longer serves us well.

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