Radical Authenticity: The Path to Your Soul’s Purpose

There is a system.

And the rule of the system seems to be: If you want my resources, you gotta fit in. In the business world, whether in reference to raising seed money or spearheading a launch, this often translates to “You wanna lead, lady? Better man up.”

A lot of companies are trying to buck the system by intentionally funneling women into leadership positions, but those programs don’t always succeed. Women drop out (“in droves,” say most headlines on the subject). Is it because we’re soft, lazy, unskilled, or “not leadership material?” No! We’re simply tired of putting on the masculine masks (maskulines?) that companies hand out like parking passes as we climb the ladder.


Trying to be something you’re not is taxing, and it’s not how ground-breaking work gets done. A Harvard Business Review study found that “Overinvestment in one’s image diminishes the emotional and motivational resources available for larger purposes. People who focus on how others perceive them are less clear about their goals, less open to learning from failure, and less capable of self-regulation.”

Sounds grim, but what happens if we turn the tables on perception? The same article suggests that we should “anchor women’s development efforts in a sense of leadership purpose rather than in how women are perceived.” Men are encouraged to devote energy to how they’ll lead and not squander it on how they’ll be perceived if they lead. We can do the same if we have the courage and support of our sisters.

Did the Harvard Business Review really say sisterhood helps?

Pretty much: “Companies should encourage [women] to build communities in which similarly positioned women can discuss their feedback, compare notes, and emotionally support one another’s learning. Identifying common experiences increases women’s willingness to talk openly, take risks, and be vulnerable without fearing that others will misunderstand or judge them.”

Yes. Yes. Yes. That’s our whole jam at Emerging Women! We want to help you hone in on your leadership purpose by creating a safe space for radical authenticity. We invite strong women like Janet Mock and Glennon Doyle Melton and Elizabeth Gilbert into the community to model radical authenticity in its many textures and hues. They tell it like it is, give voice to the doubts and own the vulnerabilities that will soon alchemize into strengths. They are unapologetic, tender, forgiving and inclusive.

We hear that kind of delivery – it strikes a deep chord with the cosmic feminine. And it legitimizes those of us who are working with parallel experiences, but haven’t yet voiced them (in private let alone in public).

So let’s make a pledge.

Let’s drop the weight of these masks so we can focus on our soul’s purpose.

Let’s actively participate in a community of radical authenticity. Share your strange, wild truth and celebrate it in others. We will fuel ourselves and each other, and we will spark a movement of leaders who are not simply passing as successful, or happy, or perfect, but who are real and ready to heal this world and make it a more compassionate, innovative, abundant and sustainable place.

Janet Mock: How Speaking Your Truth Increases Your Power

We are all emerging. We are working to manifest an outer life that aligns and resonates with our deepest and most true inner selves. Some emergences may be more physically obvious than others, but the priciples behind them remain the same. It takes trust, courage, and community to emerge.

Janet Mock is a model of all three traits. Her transition was superpowered by her belief that she knew herself, and no one could tell her otherwise. She trusted that inner voice, had the courage to speak it aloud, and shared her story in her book Redefining Realness, a trans girl’s coming of age memoir, to serve as a blueprint for others. That’s radical authenticity, and it has the power to make meaningful impact in the world.

At the end of her engaging Emerging Women podcast, we asked Janet what she would say to women who are no longer willing to compromise their inner truths for outside audiences.

This is how Janet answered:

“All of us, everyday, are fighting so hard to take off the masks that we were trained to put on in order to survive.

A lot of the work is undoing all the things that we learned about what we were supposed to do in order to be deemed as valuable or to be deemed as heard. We have to do that work of taking off those masks and revealing ourselves.

It takes a lot of power to be that vulnerable publicly, to exert your truth publicly, to no longer listen to all the commentary and what everyone outside of you are saying but then to just listen to what you know is true for yourself. What’s going to bring you happiness, what’s going to bring you joy, what’s going to make you content in the world?

For me, it’s been a life’s journey to come to that space to say, ‘Just because you may perceive me in a certain way, I have a lot of experiences that you may not see on the surface, but they are a part of me and I will own them.’ I will no longer think that having labels of trans or black or woman as things that I should push aside in order to be seen as more powerful. You know what? I’m going to actually speak them out, because me speaking them out and saying them and reclaiming them actually gains me more power. There’s such power in the truth, and we can emerge from such darkness when we tap into ourselves and tap into our truths.

May it be so, dear Emerging Women! Share your true voice with us in the comments section.

Have you heard Janet’s Emerging Women podcast? Tune in here: