Authenticity has become quite a buzz-word these days. It’s easy to criticize and is often misleading. Nevertheless, things become trends for a reason. There’s a strong draw in so many people today to remove their social masks and show up more as their true, unique selves.

If only we could all just stop performing, and be more authentic.

But… what if we’re always performing, and that’s a good thing?

What if performance is not only the most effective way to live as humans, it can also be the most authentic way to be? This can fly in the face of the basic notions around just being yourself.

Jonathan Bender, who has been helping change-makers find their authentic voice for the past 20 years, gives us some help with this tricky territory.

In this short audio recording (10 min), the IC’s Robert MacNaughton and Jonathan discuss:

  • How we’re always wearing a costume of one sort or another
  • How trying to act authentic can rob you of your aliveness
  • The difference between presence and expanding your self-expression
  • The dangers of having an identity formation around “authenticity”

Jonathan is coming back to Boulder soon to offer his flagship training:
The Performance of Your Life: Act with Intention, Play with Purpose
June 2-4th at the Integral Center in Boulder CO

The Performance of Your Life is a 3-day interactive training that helps you let go of the old roles you’ve been playing- in your work and in your life—anywhere you are “on stage” with others — and explore all the parts you can play. Take center stage and shine.

Learn more here, or on the Facebook page here.

The training costs $497, but there’s a $100 early discount that goes through May 19th, and you can use the promo code “aliveness” to save an additional $100.


Jonathan Bender, MS, MFA has helped thousands become confident, authentic and dynamic speakers who change lives. A coach for 20 years, he specializes in working with those who care as much about growing themselves as they do their careers: his clients range from CEOs to entrepreneurs to actors, and people from 5 continents have taken his trainings. His work blends professional speaking skills with performance techniques (acting, voice and movement) and personal development. Jonathan also trains and certifies coaches in the WholeSpeak Method, and is the creator of Connection Jams™. He holds graduate degrees in both communication and performance, and is a theatre director, actor and creator.