Becoming Authentic

It’s easy to see people who’ve accomplished great things, and think “wow, they’ve got it all together.” Usually when we get to peer into the lives of those we admire, it’s the culmination of a lot of hard and “messy” work. We see the glimmer and not the grit it took to get there. This week’s book of the week, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, shares three guideposts that I find very valuable…

In order to accomplish great things you must:

1. Believing that you can

2. Be willing to do the work necessary

3. Be authentic about it


I love this quote from the book about her realization of the importance of authenticity.

“My first solo campaign event took place in early April inside a modest home in Des Moines. A few dozen people had collected in the living room, sitting on couches and folding chairs that had been brought in for the occasion, while others sat cross-legged on the floor. As I scanned the room, preparing to speak, what I observed probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did, at least a little. Laid out on the end tables were the same sorts of white crocheted doilies that my grandmother Shields used to have at her house. I spotted porcelain figurines that looked just like the ones Robbie had kept on her shelves downstairs from us on Euclid Avenue. A man in the front row was smiling at me warmly. I was in Iowa, but I had the distinct feeling of being at home. Iowans, I was realizing, were like Shieldses and Robinsons. They didn’t suffer fools. They didn’t trust people who put on airs. They could sniff out a phony a mile away. My job, I realized, was to be myself, to speak as myself. And so I did.”¹

How many times do you find yourself trying to look or become the part? The right social clubs, the right social media standing and presentation, the right job, the right car…. I could go on and on but I won’t. We keep up with the Kardashians and connect with few if any. What I love is being ourselves is the greatest gift we can give each other and the best way to connect with others. One of my favorite authors on this subject is Brené Brown, who also happens to be the author of the book Dare to Lead. Dare to lead was  Wednesday’s book of the week a few weeks ago. I hope that this article inspires you to be more authentic with yourself and others. We all have commonalities and people see right through facades. Be brave enough to have heart and show it.

Sarah Jackson

Vigilant Poster Girl

Read Becoming by Michelle Obama here.


  1. Obama, Michelle. Becoming (p. 236). Crown. Kindle Edition.

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