There are plenty of people who don’t know who we are, but nearly anyone can tell if we aren’t being authentic. It is amazing how people have this intuitive sense that can spot someone not being genuine a mile away. There are the obvious exceptions, but the average person on the street can tell if you’re being real, or trying to put on some front. The interesting part is the more you try to hide your lack of authenticity, the more obvious it becomes that you are putting on some facade.
Understanding and doing this is an absolute essential for people in business, but everyone can benefit from keeping this in mind. Having a lack of authenticity cuts both ways. On one side, people won’t take you seriously or they could perceive you as being shady and having a less than wholesome agenda. On the other hand, the lack of being ourselves sends a subconscious message to our brain that the person we really are isn’t worth showcasing and should stay hidden. Our self esteem and sense of identity take a direct hit when we choose to act and think this way.
If people don’t take you seriously or they think you have some sinister agenda, how do you think your life will progress? Many times this can bring excess drama into your life and cause unnecessary tension between you and others. Promotions will be slim to none or you will have problems staying in a job very long. If you do find that you have been promoted, it will be a difficult road to travel for sure if you aren't able to just be you. If you aren’t being authentic then you will be absolutely exhausted at the end of the day because of your 18 hour performance.
It is not easy to be someone else all the time. There are times when you want to improve your perspective and you take a few moments to do some role playing to see something from another point of view. This is healthy. A significant lack of authenticity isn’t temporary role playing. It is a lifestyle of not being yourself. This approach to life is not sustainable and will affect your personal life in a very significant way.
What do you have to believe to think that you need to be someone other than who you are? This is a seriously negative view of self and the longer you continue to be less than authentic, the more of a chance you have at causing even more damage to your self esteem and your identity will become less and less clear.
If you don’t like something about who you believe yourself to be, then try to step aside for a moment and ask if what you believe about yourself is absolutely true. Are you 100% positive that this is an accurate statement? Are you sure it’s just not something that you frequently heard from someone who was influential in your life at some point?
Who do you want to be? We’re not victims to the whims or opinions of others unless we choose to be. What is the type of person you want to be? What are some of the attributes you would have as this person? Write those things down and take note of when you exhibit those attributes. Take a couple of seconds to recognize and celebrate you being the person you want to be. That is you being authentic.
I have said many times, and will continue to say, that it is much easier to walk towards something than to try and avoid something. When you are trying to avoid something, you can go nearly anywhere. When you are walking towards something, there is purpose and direction. I have found that most of my clients who were trying to avoid something were struggling with being authentic in some area of their life as well. As they began to walk towards something they wanted, their authenticity became more evident.
Authenticity brings so many good things into your life. You are more peaceful with yourself. There is a sense of joy and happiness that wasn’t there before. People feel comfortable around those who are authentic. You become better at what you do. There can be more focus on what you are doing because you are doing it as who you are. There isn’t the divided energy between the tasks you do and the performance you have to put on when you’re not being authentic.
Find yourself and then be yourself. Our imperfections are what in part define our humanity. There is nothing wrong with having your weaknesses. We all have those things that are a challenge for us and there is nothing to be ashamed about having them. It is when we allow our weakness to influence how we define ourselves that we drift into performance mode. Be authentic and watch how things in your life will gradually begin to take a more positive direction. Life is short, so do what is necessary to get the most out of it!