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15 Quotes to Inspire the Real You

An entrepreneur talks about the power of authenticity for business leaders.
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Being your true, authentic self at every opportunity helps you become a better entrepreneur, leader, and human. It's not easy, though: From a young age, people, especially young men, are often encouraged to hide their emotions, to put on a brave face, and to not cry. In effect, we're taught not to be authentic as children.

Entrepreneurs often don't see the value in vulnerability in authenticity. They want to always appear strong and confident to the people around them. But it turns out that authenticity breeds trust, and trust breeds business. One of my heroes, Oprah Winfrey, said it best:

"I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I've become. If I had, I'd have done it a lot earlier."

If authenticity made Oprah rich, surely, you can give it a try. Here are 15 more quotes to inspire you to be the real, authentic you:

1. "Enlightenment is the key to everything, and it is the key to intimacy, because it is the goal of true authenticity." --Marianne Willliamson

2. "We need to find the courage to say no to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity." --Barbara De Angelis

3. "I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are." --Charles R. Swindoll

4. "The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability." --Simon Mainwaring

5. "Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion." --Deepak Chopra

6. "Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity."--Coco Chanel

7. "Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else." --Judy Garland

8. "Be yourself--not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be." --Henry David Thoreau

9. "Shine with all you have. When someone tries to blow you out, just take their oxygen and burn brighter." --Katelyn S. Irons

10. "Live authentically. Why would you continue to compromise something that's beautiful to create something that is fake?" --Steve Maraboli

11. "Authentic brands don't emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does. . ." --Howard Schultz

12. "Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity" --Janet Louise Stepenson

13. "We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be." --May Sarton

14. "If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief." --Brene Brown

15. "I can be a better me than anyone can." --Diana Ross

Here's to you being a better you than anyone else in the world!

IMAGE: melstampz/Flickr
Last updated: Jan 24, 2014

DAVE KERPEN | Columnist | CEO, Likeable Media

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business. Want to learn about how to grow your business using social media in 2 minutes? Click here.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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