Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Never Be Afraid To Be Your Authentic Self

So much is written about being your Authentic Self and I've always wondered just how many people are able to do this? Is it hard to write and be authentic at the same time?  I feel being authentic means delving into a deeper side of yourself and allowing others to get to know you on a deeper level as well.  I find it hard to write without sharing my personal stories. Stories allow others to really get to know us and some people aren't willing to take the risk. I was hesitant when it came to writing about my Anxiety and Panic disorder I suffer from. I worried that people would feel I was attention seeking (some did) but thankfully they were few. I gained a large following of people who also suffer, many who may not post openly on my buzzes (articles) but will send me a private message. I was surprised to find out just how many people suffer in silence because they are afraid of the stigma that can be attached to the term 'mental illness or disorder.' Forget the idea that the brain is highest functioning organ in our bodies, yet when it becomes ill, people are labeled instead of being embraced. At times, the idea of the stigma would deter me from writing but I decided the topic was very relevant and still needs a lot of attention because employers need to embrace their employees who suffer, just as they would embrace and have an understanding for the person who calls in sick or goes home early due to a migraine, the flu etc...


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Remember one thing, you are NOT alone with the journey you are on and your path may take some unwanted twists and turns along the way. Feel free to wander from the path you are on, or just take a risk and continue down the same path- it may lead you in a direction you didn't expect. This is what happened to me!  

I have a new Doctor and I've been meeting with him for almost a year now. He's young, progressive, into research and understands that Anxiety and Panic disorder is an illness not a weakness. He's taken the time to get to know me on a very personal level, he was able to look beyond my illness and that's how it should be. There are many people I associate with who have no idea I suffer from Anxiety and Panic disorder- sometimes you get that 'sixth sense,' when it comes to who you may share it with or NOT.  I'm thankful to those who are able to see beyond my illness and realize I am not my illness. 

My Doctor gave me renewed faith in the fact that many realize we are not our illness
My doctor called me at home a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in serving on the Mental Health and Awareness Board of Directors for our County.  Of course, I had a lot of questions and he set up a meeting with the Director of the Organization that he thought I would serve well. The meeting went fantastic and as a matter of fact, I was even offered a possible job that will be available in December or January.  I was asked to send my resume along with a cover letter for both the Board of Directors and for employment. 

I had an interview with two Board members last week, one being the President of the Board and it went quite well. I also made sure that I added links to articles on I wrote about Anxiety/Panic disorder on beBee and Thrive Global to my resume. My Doctor had already read my articles and was very impressed with the articles along with my diverse experience. I was elated during my interview to hear, "We are really impressed with your resume, you have a great deal of experience and are quite qualified."  When a person has suffered for some time from on-going Anxiety and/or Panic disorder we tend to down play our background and yes, we even lose confidence. I was asked to be the Secretary for the Board of Directors and told I was approved. I agreed and asked if I could use my PC to take notes vs. hand written notes and that was A-OK!  I can type faster than I write, not to mention, I can't read my own hand writing anymore... yes, it's gotten that bad!  Aside from my writing, my resume played a large role too. Make sure to keep it updated as many suggest on numerous buzzes. 


Don't compare yourself to others when it comes to being authentic, that's what authenticity is all about, YOU!

Being asked to be on the Board of Directors for Mental Health and Awareness allowed me to realize I am not damaged and that I have a lot to offer. Being authentic has opened up new doors for me and I look forward to the new paths I'm going to take!  So, do yourself a favor and keep it real because you never know who is going to reach out to you because you either have something to offer thanks to being honest, or many truly can relate to you and find it easy to reach out because you were being authentic. 

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Comments

Prakashan B.V

2 years ago #49

Lisa Gallagher: Congrats on getting into the Board of Di rectos....Glad to read about how you landed into that as well.

Randall Burns

4 years ago #48

#52
HaHa! Thanks for that Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher I couldn't ask for anything more. :-)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #47

#51
Thanks Randall Burns! I would put you in the category of being your authentic self! Authentic Chef w/big personality :)

Randall Burns

4 years ago #46

Great post! Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #45

#48
Thank you Debasish Majumder!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #44

#47
Thanks Pascal Derrien :)

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #43

lovely insight Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher! enjoyed read and shared. thank you very much for the buzz madam.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #42

Good on you as we say around here :-)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #41

#42
Thanks so much Susan \ud83d\udc1d Rooks, the Grammar Goddess wrote about it yesterday or today and made some great points. For me, using the term authentic was blatant. I am who I am, and I can't hide it. As you saw after reading this, being true to who I am (authentic) has helped me in ways I could not predict.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #40

#41
Harvey Lloyd, you touched on great points. By writing about something so personal we do take a chance and it could ruin our brand. I finally came to the conclusion that I don't want to be associated with people who are unable to understand illnesses like Anxiety and Panic disorder... add depression to that equation. I guess we do have to be choosy when it comes to not only who we associate ourselves within the work environment but also friends and family as well. Just reading the words mental illness for some still have them concluding the person is either attention seeking, lazy, weak, or other. I'm happy there are many who have moved past those labels and understand the brain can become ill just like any organ in our body. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate it!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #39

#39
I wish there was a love button for your comment Susan \ud83d\udc1d Rooks, the Grammar Goddess! I didn't see the full impact of my statement about the brain until you quoted it, wow- I must admit, I had a few tears... but they were cleansing tears! I'm glad I'm not the only person who can't read their own writing the older I become ;-) I will have to read Jim's buzz too. We all have differing experiences in life and it's great to share. As I wrote Lada below, variety is (paraphrasing) is definitely the spice of life. We all learn or come to understand life more though a variety of topics. Thanks so much Susan!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #38

#37
Hi Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, many people are not comfortable with sharing their personal stories and that's okay! We all differ and if we were the same, how boring would that be? Everyone has something to offer whether it's personal, educational, business related or other. That is what makes reading more interesting, variety. Thank you so much for your kind words, I truly appreciate them!

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #37

Dear Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher super happy to hear about the new role. We all knew you had it in you. You're a surfer and we love this authentic side of you. BE YOU always:)

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #36

Some great thoughts Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher. I think you may have stumbled into the paradox of authenticity. In order to be authentic humility is required. But this humility may in some cases go against our brand. Humbling ones self in public may carry over to thoughts of professional deficiencies. From a customer perspective. This one of the personal challenges within branding. Our brand promotes our strengths but should be too authentic it may expose an area of weakness within the brand. Interesting concept.
A must-read for anyone dealing with any type of mental illness or disorder -- or those caring for them -- from Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher.
Funny how some days I see posts written on much the same idea but from completely different perspectivdes, Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher wrote about being true to yourself; you're writing about being your authentic self. But the different direction you each took make each post very much worth reading! I applaud you for showing us a world that so many of us have no direct experience of -- being seen as weak rather than ill. It's important that we recognize mental / emotional illness for what it is: I'm excited to know that you were asked to be on that BOD, and that those who know you see your value! And, Lisa? By the way, I cannot read my own handwriting much any more either; as I age, it gets worse. :-) And let me leave you with the sentence that will be with me for a long time: "Forget the idea that the brain is highest functioning organ in our bodies, yet when it becomes ill, people are labeled instead of being embraced." (((Lisa)))

John Rylance

4 years ago #33

#31
#31 The quote refers to what Oliver Cromwell is alleged to have said to the the artist who was to paint his picture. He was reported to have said "Paint me warts and all" certainly he was painted with several on his face.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #32

I'm one of the people who are not willing to share their personal stories, but I admire those who decided to do it, like you dear Lisa, especially when the message your words convey is of such relevance. You're an example that good things happen to people who take a risk and continue to follow their path. Moreover, it turned out that your articles in which you showed your experience and knowledge on the topic you wrote about, are one of the reasons you were offered a new job. The Mental Health and Awareness Board of Directors are lucky to have a person like you on the Board. Congrats on your deserved appointment.

Lada 🏡 Prkic

4 years ago #31

I'm one of the people who are not willing to share their personal stories, but I admire those who decided to do it, like you dear Lisa, especially when the message your words convey is of such relevance. You're an example that good things happen to people who take a risk and continue to follow their path. Moreover, it turned out that your articles in which you showed your experience and knowledge about the topic you wrote about, are one of the reasons you were offered a new job. The Mental Health and Awareness Board of Directors are lucky to have a person like you on the Board. Congrats on your deserved appointment.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #30

#33
You mom sounds like a wise woman Jerry Fletcher,! I will keep people updated for sure :) Looking forward to sharing more once I begin.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #29

#32
Thanks for taking the time to read my buzz Lupita \ud83d\udc1d Reyes! "Always practice what we preach," We should all do our best to! :)

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #28

Lisa, As my Mom says, "good things come to those willing to open themselves up to the universe. I'll stay tuned to your insights from your new position.

Lupita 🐝 Reyes

4 years ago #27

Dear Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher, I loved that you’ve had the courage to share this personal experience. And, yes, I agree with you on being authentic. Sprecially, in order to practice what we preach. Congratulations on the new endeavor! A big hug for you :D

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #26

#20
Hi @john rylance, "It takes a brave person to let the world see them as Oliver Cromwell said "Warts and all". I never heard that quote before but it's very fitting. It's also true, not everyone is ready or willing to share and that's okay. All within due time, they say!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #25

#19
Such a good feeling Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador because I was able to add that I suffer from Anxiety/Panic disorder within the context of my letter. I complain a lot about our very small town but I must say, they are setting a great example when it comes to not just keeping up with the latest programs and more but they may be a few steps ahead than other areas. When I get more info on what the Organization has planned, I will update with a buzz, some pretty interesting stuff! Thanks Franci :)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #24

#18
Hi Nathaniel Schooler \ud83d\udee9 Brand Marketer, thanks for your comment! I love how you are able to be your authentic self on live videos and the podcasts you do. You aren't afraid to crack jokes, you keep it so real and it makes watching them that much more enjoyable. As for those who will disappear, good riddance to them, right? They do us a favor in the long run. I love being associated with people who aren't afraid to show their vulnerable side and even laugh at themselves!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #23

#17
Thanks so much Gert Scholtz and honestly, I don't think I could ever shirk back on who I am, maybe to a fault lol. I remember sharing with a very dear neighbor of mine years ago that I saw a Doctor for Anxiety disorder and she said, "be careful who you tell, so many people will judge you and I don't to see you get hurt." She really meant well. She was like the Great Aunt I never had but her words were true back then. So, as a society and looking back, we have come a long way. Sadly, she passed about 15 years ago and I still miss her.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #22

#16
Hi Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris, thanks for your comment. You could be right, they are either suffering and possibly don't want to admit it to themselves because some people really feel it's a weakness and don't understand that it really is an illness or they just don't care to understand sadly. You wrote, "Authenticity is definitely a healthy way of embracing ourselves, without becoming discouraged by our shortcomings." Isn't that the truth and if we can embrace our shortcomings we can also continue to work on them!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #21

#15
Hi Ken Boddie, it's funny that you wrote my maiden name. I was going to add a bit of the story relating to my maiden name but I don't use it on here so I thought it would be mute. When the President of the board introduced himself to me, He said, "Hi, it's nice to meet you, my name is G. Fraser (left out first name on purpose). Anyhow, I was nervous and I said, "It's nice to meet you to, I'm Lisa Fraser." I haven't used my maiden name in years and it just popped out. I laughed, then corrected myself. Believe it or not, I haven't met anyone with the same spelling as my last name, ever... I guess I was caught off guard. It was a bimbo moment but funny. I appreciate your kind words and I really am looking forward to this, I need to be around people more. I've always been highly social. Thank goodness I don't have social anxiety, that has to be very tough.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #20

#13
"for some that is one steep mountain to climb." I could not agree more Geoff Hudson-Searle. My hope is that people realize there is a large network of others who do care, have been there or are still climbing that mountain who will embrace them. So many wonderful people who also offer great advice. First step in climbing that mountain, realize that it's a real illness and seek the proper medical care.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #19

#12
Thank YOU Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee! If it had not been for certain people I originally met on Linkedin who encouraged me to keep writing, most of whom are are now using beBee, I'm not sure I would have gained the confidence I found hiding deep within. So many supportive people and I can't thank everyone enough, yourself included!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #18

#11
It sure is, thanks Robert Cormack!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #17

#10
Hi Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee you wrote, "We gain nothing from hiding problems. Keeping them in the dark shall benefit no one." That's always been my hopeful intention when writing about Mental illness with the hopes that others will seek answers if they are struggling. And the more we use our voices, I also hope that research will continue because they still have so much to learn. As a matter of fact over the past 7 years or so they've found not everyone is low on Serotonin but may be over producing Adrenaline (those with anxiety) which would explain why people like myself don't tolerate SSRI's or SNRI's because of the Serotonin uptake which makes me very ill. I even had genomic/DNA testing done and all drugs in those categories were in the extreme category- which means, do not take! Another thing I would suggest to people, have this testing done if they are sensitive to medications. At least now, anyone who looks at my chart will realize I am not a hypochondriac. Thanks for your wise words!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #16

#9
Hi Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich! Thanks so much, I really am looking forward to this. Thanks to some tips you and a few others gave me, I was able to update my resume with confidence!

John Rylance

4 years ago #15

It takes a brave person to let the world see them as Oliver Cromwell said "Warts and all". Not all of us are prepared to risk it in front of strangers.
Congratulations, Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher. And yes, being authentic pays off in more ways than one. When success comes your way, it's a wonderful feeling to know it is because you're you, and not a pretend person you can't keep up with.

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #13

Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher Congratulations Lisa - on your appointment but much more so on never shirking back from who you are, and sharing it with others.

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

4 years ago #12

Well, everyone has flaws. Whether these are regarded as illnesses or not is a matter of perspective. One thing I know for sure. People who look down on others because they have this or the other mental condition, probably suffer from an illness themselves, even if they are not aware of it. Authenticity is definitely a healthy way of embracing ourselves, without becoming discouraged by our shortcomings.

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #11

You are one tough cookie, Lisa Fraser. These days, I can't imagine anyone or anything defining you, except you. Congratulations, not on your appointment, but on your readiness, willingness and ability. Knock their socks off!

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #10

Wonderful buzz Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher your authentic self is living in the truth self, for some that is one steep mountain to climb!

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #9

Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher thanks for sharing this diamond! Congratulations!

Robert Cormack

4 years ago #8

Being in an environment that "understands," Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher, is probably the best therapy. Good luck.
Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher- you are courageous and you set an example for others to be equally courageous. We gain nothing from hiding problems. Keeping them in the dark shall benefit no one. I like what you wrote "I was surprised to find out just how many people suffer in silence because they are afraid of the stigma that can be attached to the term 'mental illness or disorder.' very true and sharing problems is distributing the load and call for new ideas on how to deal with them. Bravery pays off and in your story the wisdom is there. I salute your courageous soul.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #6

#7
thank you so much for your words of wisdom and deep understanding. Your comment actually brought tears to my eyes. The tears were tears of relief and a bit of happiness knowing there are others who do understand for differing reasons. 20% of U.S. Citizens that have some sort of disability impairment is quite high... especially when one looks at the numbers, 60 million people! It's my hope that sooner than not mental illness is viewed as a illness just like diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease etc... And I agree, when we can focus on our abilities vs. disabilities we are that much further ahead. I think one key factor is the support one receives from their family and community. My family understands that this is real and they don't treat me any differently than they would if someone became ill from diseases that are recognized not stigmatized. I see the tides changing and this makes me very happy! Thanks again David!

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #5

Lisa: first, many congratulations on being selected to the Board of Directors. That's an outstanding achievement and a well deserved honor. Bravo!!! Second, as you know, I'm familiar with this issue based on family history. That's one reason why I always appreciate your boldness in standing up and speaking out to educate people and help ease the ongoing stigma faced by too many people due to myths, fears, stereotypes, bias and bigotry. As you write: "...an illness not a weakness." How true. More people need to focus on ability rather than disability -- regardless of whether the impairment is physical or mental. Your ability has always shined like a bright star in the sky and continues to shed light on an important and often misunderstood illness. The fact is that 20% of U.S. citizens have some type of disability impairment, according to the Census Bureau. That's a whopping 60 million Americans. I would reiterate that mental illness should be viewed as just that: an illness, whether it's cancer, diabetes, obesity or something else. Again, in my view, the most important thing about this topic is to recognize people's ability and not dwell on disability. We are each special and authentic in our own unique ways. I hope and pray that people of goodwill can come together to truly end the stigma against mental illness once and for all. That day can't come soon enough. cc Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #4

#5
Savvy Raj, I honestly appreciate your kind words. Thank you SO much!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #3

#3
I agree, it is very hard to share Claire L Cardwell. I think the more people learn to be at ease with sharing and not feeling as though they have to make excuses, the more understanding society will gain in time. That's my hope! I know you've struggled too but look how you come back with a vigor. I'm proud of you and you are one talented woman. Never lose hope because it's easy to do. Thank you for your nice wishes and sending a big hug to you!

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #2

Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher - it's very difficult to admit to a mental illness - the fact that it is actually a physical disorder that happens to be in the brain is beyond most people. Well done for getting the job with the Board of Directors for Mental Health and Awareness - I am sure you are going to make a big difference!

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #1

#1
Thanks so much Puneet Srivastava. I was asked about this over a month ago and I stalled due to my lack of self esteem. Then a few people reminded me of all that I've accomplished and the idea that my Doctor had a lot of respect for me to even ask. So, I did my homework first and decided, WHY NOT?! I'm happy I was asked and I'm excited to get started. :)

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