Key to Success – Authenticity

What does Authenticity meant to you?

In 2012 the producers of “Springsteen and I” sent out a call to fans of Bruce Springsteen. The mission: create a 6 minute video clip and in three words describe what Springsteen means to you.

That describing part would be easy.

What wasn’t easy for me was to make real, exciting and fun (what we were tasked to do).

I thought about it for a week and talked to my friends about possible ideas. In typical Tonya fashion, I obsessed over this project. I spent hours weighing different options.

Whenever I thought about it, it didn’t feel authentic. It just wasn’t me. I am not wild and outgoing. I am not a video or technology whiz. I am not someone with hours and hours of Springsteen footage or stacks of Springsteen memorabilia. I mean, I have my shelf but I am not one of those rabid fans who knows every word to every song or who has seen him in concert hundreds of times. (I wish!)

So, I kept on thinking. Every walk in the dog park was spent focused on this mission, every conversation with my friends and husband revolved around it and still nothing. Exciting and fun – that’s not me.

But what I am is real. So one winter evening we were sitting in front of the fire and it hit me. The words I would use to describe Springsteen were authentic, inspiring and dedication.

I decided to create a video that was exactly that – authentic.

Not particularly creative or fun or exciting. But real.

We filmed it in our living room in front of the fire place (one of my favourite places to be) with my dog milling around. I wore my Magic shirt from his show in 2007. It is one of my favourite shirts. I played The River on my iphone. Except for filming the video, it was pretty much a regular evening at our place.

Being authentic means being yourself, regardless of what other people are doing and what you think they are thinking about you. It means having the courage to be yourself.

Authenticity counts

Last week I wrote about my feelings about the new massive playground being built on beautiful green space in my neighborhood. I wrote that I don’t have the energy or time to be protesting this. I was right.

I don’t.

But, that didn’t stop me. I found myself getting more and more upset and helpless so I reached out to city council on social media and through email. I wanted my voice to be heard.

Today, after spending more time and energy engaged in this apparently futile battle, I put a stop to it. I asked myself if what I was doing, how I was spending my time, was moving me closer to the goals that I have created. Was this the wisest way to spend my time?

Unequivocally the answer to both question was a resounding no. So I decided to simply say that I am moving on and I am choosing to focus on activities that WILL bring me closer to my goals.

That is being authentic – and that, to me, is being successful.


A red background with a splash of blue with the words May we all find Authenticity the courage of being vulnerable here we find connection and joy

The importance of being authentic




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