In a world where the pursuit of success often overshadows the essence of fulfillment, one crucial element stands out – the power of authenticity and love in our work. As we navigate the realms of our careers, it’s not merely about standing out; it’s about standing tall with purpose, driven by a deep-seated passion that transcends the ordinary. A couple of recent experiences highlight the essence of what I’m referring to. 

Like many, the dentist’s office isn’t exactly my happy place. It’s necessary, and so I drag my body through the doors, but my mind? It’s wandering far, far away before the chair reclines. Physically present, mentally absent – that’s the drill. Can you relate? However, my recent visit to the dental clinic painted a delightfully different picture. Allow me to elaborate.. 

Having danced this tango with countless hygienists in the past, I meticulously outlined my sensitive areas to Katie, urging her to proceed with caution. To my sheer delight, Katie not only heeded my concerns but delicately tended to those vulnerable spots with utmost care, ensuring my comfort at every turn. Unlike previous visits where my fists clenched involuntarily, this time was different. I felt at ease. 

With the instruments finally at rest outside my mouth, I couldn’t contain my admiration for Katie’s professionalism, precision, and genuine care. “Katie, that was hands down the best teeth-cleaning experience I’ve ever had. Thank you a million times over, and then some,” I effused just as the dentist entered the room. 

During the interlude before the dentist’s arrival, Katie graciously shared a glimpse into her world. Surprisingly, she revealed that her financial security negated the necessity to work, and with two little ones eagerly awaiting her at home, alongside fun side projects that also bring money into her home, one might wonder why she would be cleaning teeth. “But,” she emphasized, “I love this job.” 

That’s it, I thought, that’s why she’s so good… she authentically cares about cleaning teeth. With her unmatched passion and genuine concern, it’s clear that Katie would never struggle to find a rewarding position; she shines because she genuinely cares and loves what she does. 

Just a few days later, a call came from two successful businesswomen on the East Coast in search of a coach. After sifting through five websites, they singled mine out. Intrigued by their decision, I probed further. 

“There were two coaches that rose to the top of our list. The way that you position yourself as a coach on your website was the most authentic. The other candidate overwhelmed us with Brené Brown quotes, lacking a distinct brand of their own,” they disclosed. 

Little did they know, a few nights prior, I grappled with refining my phrasing on my website, doubting if what I had was adequate, professional, or impactful enough. Yet, the language encapsulated the very essence of what I offer. This underscores the profound impact of authenticity and care in our pursuits. To truly stand out, all one needs to do is embrace their genuine self. 

Ironically, many individuals strive to emulate others rather than embracing their unique identity. While I admire Brené Brown immensely and acknowledge her influence on my work, true distinction lies in being unabashedly oneself, sharing passions, and wholeheartedly owning the excellence poured into one’s endeavors. 

If you find yourself amid the fog of uncertainty, unsure of what resonates authentically or ignites your passions, consider infusing your current work with your genuine self. To discern the presence of your authentic self, reflect on Richard Schwartz‘s delineation of Self, the core qualities he espouses as a renowned psychotherapist and the founder of IFS (Internal Family Systems): 

Qualities of Self: 

Compassion, Creativity, Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, Calm, Connectedness, Clarity. 

By embodying these virtues, we embody our true Self. The deliberate capitalization of “Self” signifies our elevated essence, distinct from the reactive and protective facets often triggered by life’s challenges. Simply recognizing and nurturing these Self-affirming traits, as illuminated by Schwartz, serves as a guiding compass towards authenticity 

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister helps companies and leaders motivate and inspire excellence. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit