Living Authentically – ep.121

Restoring Community – ep.120
December 21, 2023
The Jali Podcast Presents a Series Showcase of More Business More Life Podcast: Unlocking Business Growth- ep.122
January 11, 2024

Psychotherapist and Author of The Art of Being Authentic, T. Mark Meyer discusses how to live a more purposeful life, offers tips on how to reconnect with your authentic self, and overcoming trauma through introspection.

T. Mark Meyer is a psychotherapist and a consultant for the world’s largest corporations, leading workshops on conflict resolution, authenticity, and authentic management. He coaches professional athletes in discovering their purpose and counsels both couples and individuals. After founding and spearheading several successful companies, Mark connected with his authentic self and refocused his professional aspirations. He’s a business coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner who uses his personal experience to help others live their most authentic lives.

Instagram & FB: @authentictmarkmeyer




Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Meylssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started.

Welcome to the Jali Podcast, and I am joined again by an amazing person that I’m excited to talk to. He goes by T Mark Meyer, but we’re going to call him Mark today, even though this is his authentic self. So he has written this phenomenal book called, The Art of Being Authentic.

And I am just excited to talk to you as a psychotherapist and consultant for those kind of focused on conflict resolution, authenticity, and all of those things. And I think it comes into play so much when we think about diversity, equity, and inclusion, because people take on so many different identities. And so, should we just start by talking about what does being authentic mean?

T. Mark Meyer:  That’s a good question, Melissa, and thank you for having me on the show to talk about it. Well, authenticity is… It can sometimes be difficult to talk about, especially the more specific we get, because what’s authentic for you and what’s authentic for me, is something that’s deeply unique for each and every one of us on a personal level, right? But we can, of course, look at it from sort of a more general perspective.

And I guess if you ask people, if you ask philosophers, if you ask psychologists, they’ll say that it’s being true to who you are, being true to your values, your needs, and your wants, and being true to them despite the pressures from the outside world. So that could be one way of looking at authenticity. Of course, when we get down to living your life, well, then it becomes a little more fussy.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, for sure. Well, and I think what was so interesting because as I started reading your book, I actually love the way you started it because it was kind of like, “Let me tell you a little bit about myself,” while talking about the trauma and humiliation that you went through as a child. Because I always usually start with, how did you even get here? And I was thinking that you were a psychotherapist, that now you do consulting, but really, you were a corporate employee, CEO turned psychotherapist. How did you get to where you are and how did you even decide you wanted to be a psychotherapist?

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, it was not a straightforward path for me, as I write in the book. It is true that I experienced trauma in my upbringing as I think everyone does to some extent. In my case, I went to school with a teacher that didn’t like me, that humiliated me in front of my classmates and who was just, in general, not a very nice person to watch me.

And that left me with a trauma, a trauma I wasn’t aware of to begin with, but it was rooted in me. So when I was a young man and I was going into the world, I felt I needed to prove myself. I felt I needed to prove to the world that I was good enough. I wanted to prove to the world that I was nothing like my teacher told me when I was a kid in school. She told me I was not worth anything.

So I wanted to prove that she was wrong to the world and I guess ultimately, to myself. So I started a career path, a career path that was dictated by goals where I wanted to achieve, I wanted to make money, and I wanted to have success. And that went well, honestly. I had a lot of success in my career. I was a CEO of an international company. I founded a tech company and I really had a life that all the goals that I’ve set for myself, I was reaching them. So it was, in a way, what I thought I had dreamed of.

The problem was that whenever I reached a goal, I never felt happy. I was never fulfilled, that this emotional redemption that I was seeking, it just didn’t materialize. So I ended up chasing one goal after another until one day, I figured I need to change my life because this searching outside myself for my happiness is not working for me. And I decided to reconnect with authenticity and become a psychotherapist.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s an interesting path, for sure. And I think when people think about authenticity and really becoming their true self, I think one of the things that is fascinating for me, especially for you as a neuro-linguistic programming master practitioner, is the hard work of actually figuring out who you are and what it actually means to be authentic. So when you talk about the art of being authentic, your book is entitled as such, how do we even begin to step into that process of understanding our own authenticity?

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, it’s one of the biggest challenges of being authentic is, how am I going to go about it? What is authentic for me? So of course, that journey of self-awareness, that journey of becoming sort of aware of what is authentic for me, that requires a lot of introspection.

And I think it also requires a lot of compassion, compassion towards yourself because we’re all doing the best we can in this world. And sometimes what keeps us from being authentic is we think that we have to live up to something. We have to live up to a certain ideal or a certain standard.

And coming to terms with the fact that maybe we can’t live up to those ideals or we don’t want to live up to those ideals, that requires that we take a good look at ourselves, but we also do it with compassion.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, and I think the other thing… I mean, you spend some time talking about even purpose. And so when I think about authenticity, ideally, I think you’re probably trying to align with your purpose and you are essentially stepping into your authenticity because your life becomes in full alignment. But I think we’re all kind of chasing that to some degree. So when you think about purpose, does the purpose come before authenticity or how do you find your purpose and be authentic, or do you become authentic and find your purpose?

T. Mark Meyer:  I’m not sure if one happens before the other. I think they’re woven together somehow. I know for what I do a lot with clients that do these find my purpose sessions with me and what I’ve also done a lot in my own life is, you start to ask yourself questions that are about your authenticity, but maybe also about your purpose.

So one way to start could be, “Okay, well, what if money was not an issue? What would I do?” And then some thoughts will come to your conscious mind. Maybe something related to your purpose, related to your authenticity, right? And then probably take it a step further and say, “Okay, well, what if there were no expectations from anyone around me, then what would be my authentic self? What would be my purpose? What would I want to do?” And then more thoughts sort of come to your conscious mind.

And then maybe even take it a step further maybe, and say, “Well, what if everything I said or did would be met with positivity?” What if I said, “Okay, I want to do this. I want to express myself this way. And I imagine that everyone would say, “Wow, that’s really great, Meylssa. Wow, you should do that. Good on you.””

Then what kind of thoughts come to your conscious mind, right? Because a lot of the things that keeps us from purpose and from authenticity is the fear of judgment, the fear of judgment from others, the fear of not fitting in. So we have to try to let go of those fears in order to really reconnect with our authentic self.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, and it’s funny you mentioned that because I was having a conversation the other day and I was talking about my generation and how I think as a person of color, there is my generation tended to try to fit in. We tried to acclimate, acculturate as like, “Okay, how do we fit into this country and how can we be successful by playing inside the rules?”

And then you have generations now that are like, “Forget that. I am who I am and I’m not doing that,” which is like, “Oh, my gosh. That’s so freeing, not to have to fit into this bubble or this box that people have designed for you to fit in. So I think some of the things that I think are interesting is just when you think about self-esteem versus confidence, how they play together or maybe one is more important than the other. And I think you talk a little bit about that.

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah. I mean, when you talk about this, about fitting in and not wanting to fit in, I mean, that’s a scary business, right? Because it’s almost hardwired in us that it is, it’s a survival mechanism. We want to fit in this, how we’ve survived this as species, right? I think fundamental level, back when we were fighting bears and sable tigers and whatnot, you need your friends around, right? So you wanted to fit in. You survived as being part of a group or a tribe, right?

So not fitting in is scary. And if you’re going to risk not fitting in, you need the self-esteem to say, “Okay, well, I’m worth this. I’m worth not fitting in 100% here. I’m worth being my authentic self.” So we need self-esteem. When you ask me, when you say, “Okay, well, confidence versus self-esteem. What do you mean by that?” I think it’s an important distinction because we live in a society that puts a lot of emphasis on confidence, and often we mistake confidence for self-esteem.

But if we try to sort of break it apart and say, they’re actually two different things. Confidence is how well I expect to handle a given situation. So if I’m going to play a game of tennis with you, a tennis match with you, if I’m really good at tennis, then I’m going to have high confidence because I know I will handle this situation well. And if I’m going to play another sport with you that I’m not good at, my confidence will be lower.

Self-esteem has nothing to do with how you’re going to handle a given situation. It sort of transcends the situation and goes to how much worth do I have or how much worth do I feel? How valuable do I feel I am? How worthy of love, you could say, basically. My self-esteem and your self-esteem will be totally unaffected about regarding any outcome of a tennis match. It’ll be unaffected. Our confidence may be affected, but our self-esteem remains unaffected.

And sometimes in life, people think they need to be more confident, meaning that they need to be better at more things. So they need to be good at tennis, they need to be good at public speaking, they need to be good at this and that. But the problem with that is that confidence will only help them in situations that are sort of similar to what they’ve experienced before, whereas self-esteem goes beyond the situation. It’s the worth we have, we put on ourselves, and that worth is extremely important if we’re going to be authentic.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, that’s well said. The other thing is, I know you’re also… Provide a lot of consulting to athletes and corporations on a variety of tools they can use from a leadership perspective. So can you talk a little bit about, as a leader, CEO of your own company or your leadership team, how can people use authenticity within their own management style?

T. Mark Meyer:  I think that authenticity is really at the core of good leadership, really, because when you’re being authentic, you’ll see a lot benefits, especially in leadership, that is that people will trust you more. Well, you’ll have better relations with these people because they trust you more. And in essence, leadership is about relationships, right? So I think that authenticity is something that if we want to be good leaders, it’s something that we need to embrace.

And I think that often when we do experience problems within a team, often it can be due to the fact that the team members find the leader to be inauthentic, that their intention with what they’re doing, what they’re saying and what they’re doing, and maybe it doesn’t really add up for the team members, and they feel that it’s sort of inauthentic. So I think that when it comes to leadership, as in life, we will do… It’s a good idea to start that process of becoming more authentic and stepping into that space of authenticity.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, and even with… I think a lot of people get lost though, when it comes to authenticity. It’s like they’re trying to be so many different things that they sometimes lose themselves. They get kind of stuck in this particular zone they can’t get out of. And then you look up and you’re like, “Who am I exactly?”

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, exactly. And especially in business, where we tend to look to others to see what do others do, and then we can emulate that and have the same kind of success. That can be good for a lot of things, especially in developing a certain skillset. But when it comes to leadership, then it’s a little more difficult because when it comes to those sort of like deeper, underlying, more important values, we can’t just look to others, right?

I mean, I can look to you, Meylssa, and then say, “Well, is that your purpose? I’m going to make that my purpose, too.” Or “Hey, was that Steven Jobs purpose? Let that be my purpose as well,” because it doesn’t work like that. I mean, authenticity is what is at the core of us. It’s the sum of our life experiences.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah.

T. Mark Meyer:  And that’s not something we can sit down and define and say, “Hey, I want my purpose to be this” or “I want my intention with doing this to be this and that.” No, no. That’s something we uncover. We have to uncover what our purpose is. We have to uncover what our intentions are in given situations and see if we express them correctly. So often in business, we can get into a little bit of trouble because we look to others and see, “Okay, how they’re doing and maybe I’ll try and do the same,” and then it becomes inauthentic, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. Well, and I love that… I think there’s a line in your book where you say something like, I may not have it exactly right, but you say, “You cannot suck at being authentic because you’re being you.” And I think sometimes we don’t… We lose ourselves, just in the course of the journey. And I think we have… You talk a little bit about just fear of judgment and all of those things that when you start to really uncover some of the reasons that you become inauthentic, hopefully it drives you to getting yourself back, so that you can dive in and really see who you are and who you want to be.

But the other question I wanted to ask you, you talked in the book about the journey. And so since we were talking about, we kind of get into the pathway and you were talking about being authentic and copying somebody else, if you will, but you also talk about kind the journey, our journey. A lot of times, we look at other people and we go, “Oh, the success that they have achieved, that’s the end goal. That’s the journey we need to be on. So now that they’ve done that, they’re successful. And once I get there, I’ll be successful, too.” And you kind of shift our perspective a little bit on the journey.

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, definitely. I mean, if you mean when I talk a lot about goals and purpose, yeah, definitely because we live in a very, very goal oriented society that puts a lot of emphasis on goals. The problem with goals are that goals, in themselves, are meaningless. I mean, they do not provide anything for us. An ending does not provide anything significant for us. I mean, you don’t go out dancing all night hoping that the DJ will play the best song at the end of the night. You don’t read only the final chapter of a book or listen to the last 10 seconds of a song. I mean, endings in themselves provide no real meaning for us. And it’s the same with goals.

Since we live in a very goal-oriented society, we’re being told, “Set some goals, get some direction,” but they have to align to our purpose because if we don’t have a purpose related to those goals, well then when they materialize, we’re going to miss out on what we were really seeking. And as such, when it comes to authenticity… Being authentic is a lot more about being driven by your purpose and a lot less about being driven by goals because goals, in themselves, does, nothing for your authenticity.

You can climb Mount Everest, be the CEO of a million-dollar company, all those things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re being authentic, that you’re expressing your purpose, and then happiness will not show up. And for the same reason, we should not copy other people’s goals and other people’s sort of standards for success because they will most likely not do the same thing for us.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, no doubt. Let’s pause for a moment. We’ll be right back. So when you’re talking to… I mean, is it different when you’re talking to an athlete versus a business person when you’re talking about finding purpose and becoming your authentic self or are the tools the same?

T. Mark Meyer:  I think the tools are the same. I think that when it comes to leaders and athletes, usually they are the high performance. They usually have a lot of goals in their lives, and therefore, they need to reconnect to purpose because otherwise, these goals can seem meaningless. So I think this, for high performers like leaders and athletes, it’s a lot of the same. But ultimately, I think it’s the same for all of us, that the mechanisms that drive authenticity are the same for you and I, as well as it is for a professional athlete, and that we ultimately become happier when we try to reconnect with our authenticity, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. When you talked about goals and really letting go of your goals, and I think one of the things in your book you talk about is really replacing your goals with purpose. And so, how deep do you get when you’re talking about people’s purpose and leveraging that as the effectively kind of the impact for their life? It’s kind of that driving force, right?

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, it is that driving force, but it’s also, it’s a very positive driving force because when you have to achieve a lot of goals, it requires a lot of effort, requires a lot of discipline, right? But when we start to act from our purpose, then it’s almost like we get pulled forward by this purpose. It doesn’t require the same amount of effort. It doesn’t require the same amount of discipline. It requires more self understanding, but it becomes something that you can more easily express, right?

In the book, I make the example, I talk about Mother Teresa who fed all these poor people in India, right? [inaudible 00:20:59]. Well, I jokingly used the example, if she was alive today, you would not see her on Instagram doing selfies saying, “I just fed 10,000 people. Tomorrow, the goal is 15,000.” Because for her, of course, it was never about the goal. It was about the purpose.

So she would get the same satisfaction from helping one poor person as she would helping 100 poor people. And it’s that expressing your purpose and getting to that purpose that really gives value to what you’re doing. However many goals you have in your life, that purpose sort of really gives you that feeling of happiness and really allows your authenticity to express itself, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, for sure. I’m hoping we can go back a little bit to just talk a little bit about kind of trauma, because unprocessed trauma, I think is what you call it, it makes us move away from our authentic self. And so, I’m trying to figure out, there is a lot of unprocessed trauma for people all over the world, and when you talk about being able to process the trauma and get to your authentic self, I feel like you almost need a psychotherapist in order to get there.

Aside from, because I know there’s probably not enough psychotherapists in the world for everybody, what can we do to understand that trauma and kind of move towards this happier life that you talk about? Because in The Art of Being Authentic, you talk about being happier and discovering your purpose and increasing your self-esteem, but happiness seems a little fleeting, in a way. So how can we become happier if we can’t move past the trauma, I guess?

T. Mark Meyer:  That’s a good question and an important question. Well, if we can move past the trauma, then I think then we have some difficult times ahead for ourselves. I think the first and the most important thing to understand is that trauma can be processed in a good way, so you can bring it forward and it can add value to your life. And there can be a wisdom in this trauma, but we need to recognize it.

And what we do a lot of times is, we try to sweep it under the rug. We have these traumatic experiences and then we don’t really do anything about it. We just want to avoid it in the future. The problem with that is, I give that as an example in the book, is you become a little bit like a zebra being chased by a lion, where the lion is your trauma and you’re the zebra. You want to avoid this trauma, you want to avoid ever feeling like this again.

So if your trauma shows up to the right, well, then the zebra runs to the left. If the lion goes to the left, the zebra runs to the right. If it runs faster than the zebra, picks up its pace and so forth. So you’re constantly avoiding. The problem with that is, there’s no direction in that. The zebra, once it escapes the lion, however momentarily it is, will end up, who knows where because there’s no direction.

And that’s the same that happens for us as human beings. When we have unprocessed trauma, we do a lot of things to avoid it. So we end up actually being dictated. Our path in life is being dictated by our trauma and that’s not going to lead us to our authentic self. We need to have that direction.

And therefore, I think the first thing we can do is if we have trauma in our life or painful experiences, some people are uncomfortable with the word trauma and would rather call it a painful experience, but we have experiences in life that sort of dictates the way that we act. Then we should take a look at it and we should see if we could process it in a good way, so we can regain sort of control with our life and regain a more authentic direction in life.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. So then how does intention work within here? I mean, you spend some time talking about intention and the deceptive nature of intention because I think as a practice, I try to wake up every day and it’s like, “Okay. What’s my intention for today?” But you talk about the understanding intention and kind of the deception of it.

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, because I mean, the way we use the word intention, we use it in many different ways, a little bit like we sometimes do with authenticity, right? What’s authentic and what’s not? The same with intention. A lot of us talk about intentions as something we can direct to be in a certain way, but the way I understand it and use it in the book is to say, it’s our motivation for doing things and our motivation for doing things affects ourselves and affects our… Especially our self-esteem a lot. And self-esteem is important if we want to be authentic because we run the risk of not fitting in, so we’ve got to feel worth it, right?

An everyday example would be, okay, well, let’s imagine you and I, Meylssa, we go out on the street and we’re going to feed the homeless. And you’re going to go left and you’re going to feed all the homeless on the left. I’m going to go right, I’m going to feed all the homeless on the right. Okay. Well, if you do that with an intention that you truly and genuinely want to help these people, once you’re done, you’re going to come away with a heightened sense of self-esteem. You’re going to feel good about yourself. This has added to your emotional well-being. You’ve helped these poor people, right?

If I do the same thing when I go to the right, only I do it because I want everyone to see, “Oh, I’m so good, right? Look at do-gooder Mark here. Look what he’s doing for all these poor people, the big author helping all these poor people. Look at me, look at me.” Right? Well, now my intention is basically to feed my ego, to get that external validation. I’ve said to myself, “I’m not good enough as I am. I need external validation. I need people to see me doing this. I don’t really care about it.”

So I’m going to walk away from this experience, most likely, with a lower sense of self-esteem. So it’s not going to add to my emotional well-being. So the same action, you and I, we did the same thing, but it had complete opposite effects on our emotional well-being, and that’s because of our intention. So if we can be mindful of our intentions, and I know it’s difficult because our minds are… Well, it’s a world-class expert on BSing us about what our intentions are, right? But the more honest we can be about it, the more it can lead us to our authentic self.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, I love that. So then, how do you get to a state of purposeful living if… I mean, once you achieve or at least, I think authenticity… I mean, people change. I’m not the person I was 30 years ago, but trying to make sure that I am living my authentic life and driving that purpose within my life. Are there some specific tips, tools that you might want to share in terms of getting yourself to a state of purposeful living?

T. Mark Meyer:  Yeah, definitely. I would say the first thing, when we talk about being authentic and authenticity, is understanding what being authentic is. Because we talked about in the beginning of the show, how it’s about being yourself, being true to your wants and your needs. But sometimes we can sort of mistake that for an ego-driven way of living, right? So this is all about me right now. Look at me. This is my needs. These are my wants. I’m going to do what I want.

But that’s not really being authentic because being authentic is equally about being who I am, but also I should say, it’s about being who I am, but it’s equally about allowing other people to also be who they are. If you’re being authentic, then you’re being who you are, but you’re also allowing other people to be who they are.

That goes a lot to what you talk about when you talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, that we should allow people to be the way they are and then we should trust ourselves enough to be what we are. I think that will be the first thing, and I would say that would be very important, so that we don’t go running down a path of [inaudible 00:29:31] behavior thinking that, “Oh, I’m just being authentic.” The first thing will be to sort of make that distinction.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. And I think when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, certainly we tend to see… I mean, I’ll just say, I know I’ve seen a lot of people that are not authentic when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I think just generally, there’s a lot of companies even that have said, “Hey, I’m going to commit myself to creating a much more inclusive environment.” But now you see people kind of stepping back, maybe not investing like they could, and maybe it’s not so much of their purpose anymore?

What advice can you give to folks that are struggling in, maybe their own environments to create an inclusive environment that really does allow people to be their authentic selves, whomever that is, without everybody’s rules on them based on who they identify with?

T. Mark Meyer:  That’s a good question. I mean, I think at the end of the day when you’re being authentic, whether it’s you’re practicing authentic leadership or you’re just being authentic in your daily, in your personal life, and you can’t really separate it, right?

I mean, I think that, in essence, you do it because it’s the right thing to do. So ultimately, you have to do it because if you start doing it because, “Well, maybe this person over here will think it’s a good idea,” or “Maybe I can make more money,” or whatever else external that could drive this, then it kind of becomes inauthentic.

It goes back to the intention behind it. So ultimately, I think that we need to practice authenticity. Simply because it’s the right thing to do and if we do it for any other reason, well then, we’re not really being authentic.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, well said. I’m going to just take that line and put it everywhere.

T. Mark Meyer:  Feel free.

Melyssa Barrett:  I think there’s a lot of CEOs out there that are not getting the message. But yeah, I think it’s awesome. One of the things that I love about your book is, you not only share your own experience, but really the journey you took to get to the level of authenticity that you are at today. So can you talk a little bit about your own journey in that authenticity? Because I think for you to even be able to go back to, I don’t know, I think you were like what, six or eight, in some of the examples of the painful experiences, that had to take some inner work for you to get back to understanding what was creating some of the challenges that you might have experienced in an older way to go back there.

T. Mark Meyer:  I guess, it’s something that everyone… We all have trauma in our lives, right? Maybe we don’t want to look at it or we don’t want to admit it, and that’s not uncommon. It was the same for me. Even when I was writing this book, in the beginning, I was uncertain whether or not I should put my own story in there, but it did seem like the most authentic thing to do, is to say, “Okay, I’m going to put my own story in here. And then maybe when people read it, well, maybe there’s something there what they read, where they… It reminds them of their own life or there’s some aspect to it that sort of brings value for them.

And I think for me, I was unaware of it for a long time in life, that I was dictated… My life was dictated by childhood trauma. And I think that it can be like that for a lot of us. For me, when I trained to be a psychotherapist, I had to go through, I think it was 40 hours of therapy myself. So in that way, I got sort of forced to look at myself. But it’s something that, when we become mindful of ourselves, the path that we’re on, then we realize it.

Then we realize, “Okay, maybe that’s something that I need to change.” And I think for me, it took some time, and I think it can for a lot of people because when we look into society, we don’t get a lot of help. There’s not a lot of people telling us to look inward. There’s a lot of people, when you’re on Instagram that tells you, “Okay. You know why… Let me tell you why you’re not successful. I used to make $2,500, now I’m making $25 million. Let me tell you why that is.”

And our low self-esteem will grab onto that idea. “Okay, I’ve been doing it wrong. I guess I have to do as this guy tells me.” Or there might be someone just motivating you to keep pushing and keep pushing to some sort of dramatic music in the background. And we’re like, “Okay, I just got to keep pushing.” But our lives shouldn’t be… If our life is… If we need to motivate ourselves like we’re crossing Antarctica in a blizzard, then there’s something wrong in life, in our life, right? Yeah.

And there’s not a lot out there in society. There’s not a lot of the people that tells us, “Hey, maybe you just need to reconnect with yourself. Maybe you need to sit down, rediscover your purpose, process your trauma, and then maybe not focus so much on your goals and then just focus a little less on what you want to accomplish and then a little more on who you want to be.” And there’s not a lot of that out there in life. So if, hey, for me, it took 40 plus years, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, I love it. I mean, that’s why I think everybody’s kind of glommed onto the word mindset, because it takes really your mind to really understand, and it’s much easier to look outside of yourself in whatever you’re doing as opposed to turning the eye back on yourself to say, “Oh, I did that wrong.” And I mean, you can be accountable and still not know yourself and still not be acting like your authentic self.

So I love the fact that you have this book that’s all about the art of being authentic because I think it really does help people develop a deeper understanding of themselves, really finding their center, so that they can create a better journey for their life because we’re only here for some period of time. I mean, the one thing we know when we get here is that we are going to die.

T. Mark Meyer:  Yes. Yeah. Yes, exactly and that’s why it’s so important, I think… And why it was important for me to write this book also is because the things that… We’re only here for a limited time period, and a lot of people say, “Well, go make something out of their life. Set yourself some goals. Make a five-year plan. Go do this, go do that.”

And that’s all good advice, but we just need to bring ourselves along on the journey because whoever’s given us that advice, whatever made them happy, will not make us happy because we’re just different individuals. So we need that time to reconnect with ourselves, find our purpose, and bring that with us on our journey. And that’s what I hope the book can give some practical examples of how to do that and also maybe inspire people to just take a moment and look inward.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, and I just want to appreciate you because I know it’s very late over there in Denmark, and so I just appreciate that you are up and out and willing to have this conversation at maybe perhaps the later hour over there. So I just want to thank you for spending some time with me and really focusing, helping us to focus on being authentic. Because I think it’s so important and I think we do overuse the word, so I love the fact that you’re bringing kind of a little bit of psychotherapy, but also kind of that business focus to really help people in so many different ways. So thank you so much.

T. Mark Meyer:  Well, thank you, Meylssa, and thank you for having me on the show. I think it’s just as diversity, equity, and inclusion are some of the things that this world needs more of, I think it correlates very well with authenticity.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Any last words you want to leave us with?

T. Mark Meyer:  Well, definitely, I’m passionate about authenticity. I’m passionate about helping other people to become authentic. And if it’s a topic that’s of interest to the listeners, I would urge them to either go to my website, I have newsletters to talk about authentic living. I have a newsletter that talks about authentic leadership. They can go to my Instagram page, authentictmarkmeyer, where I share a lot of video clips and quotes, or you can follow me on LinkedIn where I talk a lot on leadership. And of course, you can also head over to Amazon and pick up the book.

Melyssa Barrett:  Definitely do that. I picked it up and I think it’s an awesome read, so… Definitely, T Mark Meyer. Check him out on The Art of Being authentic. Thank you so much.

T. Mark Meyer:  Thank you, Meylssa.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.