My life has been full of unfortunate circumstances, but I’ve managed to embrace them (warts and all) as I get older. So I’ve been asked to speak on the subject of AUTHENTICITY.


Definition – “True to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.”  And I would add…owning one’s own story including the wins and losses and the desires and desperations. How trusting myself and owning my story flames my passion and fuels my purpose and that it may persuade you to do the same.

If you want to be in a place of influence in your chosen profession and still have any bit of joy, you must do three things:

  1. Trust yourself
  2. Own your story
  3. Show up with your whole self

Brene Brown, author, researcher says having the courage to trust yourself, own your story, and show up with your whole self is being compassionate to yourself, which is needed if you truly can be compassionate to and connect with others.

Since the holiday season is coming, and I’m here with a group of professional women, I could probably assume that you are already experts on what kind of commitments and obligations are important.

We have real commitments to creating a better world.  To our God-given self:  Full actualization and maturation.

To the mission of your organization:  Your best work needs to get done so your full self-needs to show up.  To the team:  Those counting on you and looking to someone they can trust and respect and follow. To humanity:  Mankind needs more healers and bridge builders showing a better way of leading and healing this world.  Today, I want to celebrate the joys you can realize for yourself in these commitments.

Below are THREE JOYS I get from practicing being AUTHENTIC.

  1. Simplicity:  Knowing myself              
  2. Personal Power: Believing in myself      
  3. Serving: Showing up fully in my profession


I challenge you to realize these joys by taking the next steps:

Knowing Thyself – create some space in your life where you can retreat and write things down.  Start with what you desire and are desperate for (ideally and realistically).  Usually, the truth is found in one or two words.

Personal Power – Fear of failure is the number one reason why people become imposters.  Your physical state influences this fear more than you know.  Get in shape!  Remember who you are and who you are not.

Serve – Practice being your whole self.  Start small.  Volunteer on small projects where failure is likely.  Make it an objective to pay attention to your reactions to the risk of failure and be intentional about showing up anyway (warts and all).  Speak your mind and trust yourself.  You’ll grow and others will benefit from you bringing your whole self.

The above is an excerpt from Erica’s talk not including her personal story that she weaves through her presentation.

Erica Karfonta, Director for Health, Housing, and Nutrition Services for OLHSA

For more on the subjects of authenticity, I recommend the following resources:

Much thanks, Erica, for sharing your story and your mission to live authentically in all aspects of your life.  ~ Professional Women’s Club of Michigan luncheon at Oak Pointe Country Club on November 9, 2016.

Interested in having Erica speak at your event? Email her below:

Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce

Professional Women's Club of Michigan


218 E. Grand River Ave.
Brighton, MI 48114


(810) 227-5086


Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce

Professional Women's Club of Michigan