Authenticity Exercise 1: What does ‘authentic voice’ mean?

Give yourself up to one uninterrupted hour to do this, and allow time at the beginning to relax before you work on the questions. Make sure you write your answers down. Expressing our thoughts and feelings in specific words helps us commit to naming what is inside us, and also gives us a reference point later on when we want to find out what we have usefully moved on from, or usefully retained.

As you ponder these questions, notice your physical and emotional reactions, as well as your thought processes. If your mind wanders a little, that’s fine. After a short while, each time, bring it back to the questions. This exercise is intended as an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of yourself, and help you focus on what is important to you.

  1. ‘Authentic voice’ – Which of these words draws your attention? Why? What energy or meaning does it hold for you? What do you feel emotionally and physically as you reflect on the word?
  2. And in the phrase ‘authentic voice’, which word does your attention slide away from? Why? What do you feel emotionally and physically when you consider the word? (Remember that blankness is also a feeling …) Does the word unsettle or challenge you at all?
  3. For you, what is the significance of bringing together into one term the words ‘authentic’ and ‘voice’?
  4. How do you feel at the end of this process? Do you feel any new ideas, feelings, possibilities or intentions emerging?

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