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Cultivating Authenticity and Self-Compassion Through the Holidays

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Christmas dinner at my house won't be perfect. Thats a given, it never is and nor do we try to make it perfect. We embrace the "lived in house" at my house. Where my perfectionist bug creeps up is around being a great host and the timing of our dinner. When I tell my guests that dinner is at a certain time, I mean it! What can get in the way is trying to coordinate all the pieces that go to making a big family dinner and turkeys sometimes have a mind of their own. Our turkey always seems to be done earlier or later than we expect. This year I'm going to set that expectation with my guests with what I call "ish" time. Dinner will be at 5ish and ensure there are enough snacks and entertainment to manage a slightly early dinner or a much later one. Realistically, dinner will be anywhere from 4:30(ish) - 6(ish). Instead of worrying so much about the timing, I'm going to focus on spending more time with my guests and accept their help in the kitchen, or ask them to take on some jobs to help! When I think about authenticity and it being a process of letting go of who I think I should be and embracing who I am, its exciting and daunting. There are so many things I'd like to be and on-time is one of them. The reality is that my strengths do not include accuracy or being early. Ask anyone about the typos in my emails or about how I am a "just in time" kind of person, never early, rarely late, just right on time. Being a "just in time" kind of person means that any hiccups I haven't thought about will make me late including Christmas dinner. Embracing who I am means accepting that I'm my "just in time" means "late sometimes" - I just admitted that. Yuk.

This is where self-compassion is so intimately connected to authenticity. Having self-compassion allows me to accept myself for who I am where I am. Not an excuse for poor behaviour but accepting my strengths and shortcomings for what they are, just part of me. There is a difference between striving for my best and beating myself up for not meeting the mark.

There are two tools I'm going to use this Christmas to help me keep it real and be self-compassionate:

Listen to my personal "arena anthem" by Pink: F*cking Perfect. This song reminds me I'm perfect how I come, no matter what. Make time to listen to a few of the awesome guided self-compassion meditations on Kristin Neff's website self-compassion.org.

To dive deeper into the realms of authenticity and self-compassion, I recommend watching Kristin Neff's TED talk here or come experience them through the lens of leadership in my January leadership retreat in partnership with Jamie Davidoff, to find out more visit The Daring Way™ For Leaders.

LeadershipJenn Lofgren