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Belonging to Myself: Embracing Authenticity for Inner Fulfillment

Last year, I embarked on a transformative journey through the Personal Brand Accelerator course, an experience that promised profound change for those willing to invest. Embracing it with unbridled enthusiasm, I tackled each lesson, eager to uncover insights into my authentic self.

Early in the course, a compelling challenge surfaced: distill your priorities into three core values that best capture your primary focus. Seemingly straightforward, but it became a profound introspective journey. I sifted through layers of beliefs and principles, whittling down a list that started with around ten values.

To crystallize my essence, I bent the rules a bit (after all, rules are more like guidelines to me). I settled on five values that resonated deeply:

  1. Belonging to myself

  2. Empathy

  3. Conviction

  4. Humility

  5. Accountability

Among these, "Belonging to Myself" stands out. For years, I wandered without fully embracing my true self. Desperate to fit in, I sacrificed authenticity. Dr. Brene Brown’s insight hit hard, illustrating how compromising who we are erodes our sense of true belonging—a realization that reshaped my perspective profoundly.

Brown's philosophy delves into the concept that true belonging stems from authenticity. Conforming to external expectations or fitting into societal molds is called fitting in, not belonging. And the minute you try to fit in, you have abandoned yourself. Instead, it's about embracing our genuine selves, allowing our uniqueness to shine without fear or reservation. When we belong to ourselves first, fully embracing our quirks, strengths, and vulnerabilities, only then can we authentically connect with others and find a sense of genuine belonging within our communities.

This notion hit me like a thunderbolt. I realized thats why I never felt a sense of belonging in my family or many workplaces... fitting in led me away from my core identity.

Embracing "Belonging to Myself" as a core value has become my anchor—a reminder that true belonging begins within, a foundation upon which genuine connections with others can flourish.


A photo of the artist in a kichen with a white mug. She is looking to her right, presumably out a window on the other side of the room. She has a bright red scarf on with red lipstick and deep dark purple blouse. There is a sketchbook on the counter near the coffee cups with blue brush stokes in various tones of blue.  The Button says "Enjoying my blog? Join my newsletter


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Carolyn Wonders


Modern life with its social, political, and cultural debates leaves us all raw, triggered, and anxious. We are bombarded by rhetoric that is carefully chosen to obscure truth and advance agendas. I see art as a universal language that can transcend that which twists us into parrots of this rhetoric. Living with art you love and seeing through an artist’s eyes can help us see these superficial debates for what they are and get us in touch with what really matters.


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