Stephanie and I have spent a lot of time sharing the value of values. (See here, here and here). We even created this handy dandy tool to help you suss them out for yourselves. So we thought we’d each take a turn diving deep into our own values and showing how they have helped us shape our worlds. And it's my turn.
Authenticity has always been important to me. I call it one of my red threads... something that has followed me from childhood to my 30s. It started as a strong gut feeling that would lead me and later turned into an intentional personal guiding principle.
Even when I was very young, I cared about being exactly who I was without facade. I had grown up religious, with faith, and when that changed, I had a personal conversation with the youth minister so that I wouldn’t ever be faking anything. It was incredibly important to me that I show up consistently with my beliefs.
As a soon-to-be college graduate, I sought out job opportunities that would allow me to be a non-traditional environmentalist. I didn’t relate to the traditional environmental movement, but wanted to give back and have a positive impact so I looked for a thin slice of the universe that I would fit into. Knowing who I was and what I wanted gave me focus that allowed me to find a small, but awesome organization I might have skimmed over otherwise.
In my relationships, people know where I stand. If I have conflict with you, we both know it. I’m not aggressive with confrontation, but I am honest and upfront.
For me, authenticity means being true and consistent, and because of that, I feel confident in my decisions and choices. Even if they don’t turn out well, I trust that my thought process led me to do what I thought was best at the time, and I wasn’t just reacting in the moment. As I get older and have more experiences, what’s “true” for me changes. Different things become more or less important, but I stay consistent in my routine of checking in with and staying true to myself.
-- Kara Davidson, Cofounder, wolf & heron