Authenticity. It is the cry of the masses for something real. It’s also a super-popular buzzphrase right now. Books are being written about it. We seek it in others. We strive to beauthentic ourselves, but are we authentic, really? Do we even know what it means?
What IS Being Authentic Anyways?
If we draw a conclusion based upon what we see around us, and as people jump on that authenticity bandwagon, we might think being authentic means you are just letting your weird hang out. My American Heritage Dictionary defines authenticity as the quality or condition of being genuine. Genuine, it defines as “actually possessing the alleged or apparentattribute.” What that means is, your weird should only hang out if you are genuinely, trulyweird. If you actually ARE weird, by all means, let your odd little light shine. But the value of authenticity is not necessarily in weirdness, but in simply being who you are, without compromise. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Like many things though, it takes some effort to walk out consistently. Most of us have developed a bad habit over the years….the habit of hiding the truth of who we are.
Why Do We Hide Ourselves Away?
Usually, it is a simple fear of what others will think. So we pick a mask and start wearing it. If you do something long enough, it becomes a habit. When you factor in that most of ushave been receiving messages from birth to blend in, not rock the boat, tone ourselvesdown etc….well, often it seems much more natural to be the fake version of ourselves. After a time, it can become difficult to know where the real you ends and the act begins. If you want to be effective in your business, in your life, in making your contribution to the whole of mankind….acting like something you are not must end. You must understand that you are your gift to this world. Not the make-believe version of you, but the real you. When you hold back the parts the world needs, well, it’s like having one missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle. You can try to put something else in there to make it look right, but it never will. Only that one piece makes it complete. You are that one special piece in a great big, rather impersonal world. YOU matter. Not just a little bit. There are gifts within you that nobody else can give.
Don’t Deprive the World of Your Unique You!
You might be thinking, “but if I am my true self, my business will suffer because people will not like the real me”. Don’t you dare run with that conversation in your head. Let me tell you why… First of all, how do you know people will not adore the real you if you don’t give them a chance to see who that is? You don’t know. Enough said on that. I can almost hear the “buts” coming at me now. But, nothing. If there are real parts of you that aren’t worthy of public consumption, become who you want to be. Don’t fake it,become it
Why Would You Want to Do the Crazy Thing and Be You, Only You, ALL THE TIME?
Because it is a super power. Yes, the gift of you is for the world….but it is for you as well. Cool how that works. When you flow as you should, success becomes so effortless it seems magical. It’s not that it takes any less work, but that the work you do, hits bulls eyes. Remember, success is based upon relationships. Real relationships that develop trust. It is about finding your tribe and nurturing them. We recently did a post on that. If you missed it, you can find it by CLICKING HERE! If the tribe you find is based on a fake version of you that you think they want, there is no power in it, and it is exhausting to keep up with. Yes, I know that from experience. Okay. Hopefully, at this point, you have a new commitment to being genuinely who you are. If not, go back, re-read this and ponder why you should, and when you are there with the rest of us, just jump back in at this point. Woohoo! So here we are all fired up about being authentic.
Now What? How Do We DO That?
The first step is to discover for yourself who you are. Most of us, by the time we are adults, have already buried parts of us and started giving people what we think they want instead. As I said earlier, after awhile, fake seems more natural. You can lose track of the real you. To find that person again, think back to when you were a child. What made you happy?What did you do with all that free time you had as a child? How did you play when given free reign to play the way you want? What did you dream of doing when you grew up? I suggest you actually write these things down, hopefully in a journal. Then you can look back and enjoy seeing how you worked through the process and came back to who you are. Make a list of just random, off-the-top-of-your-head things you love. What makes you smile? What gives you peace? What makes you want to jump up and down with joy?Cut loose with it and freely write whatever comes to mind. As you start getting in that vibe, you will feel it starting to come out easier and quicker. You’ve started unstopping the dam you created to hold yourself back. Go with it. Don’t limit yourself to things society deems appropriate for grown ups. If you loved to climb trees as a child, write it down and enjoy feeling what you’d feel when you climbed trees. Don’t just remember it. Feel it. That feeling is you coming back to life
Doesn’t it Feel Oh-So-Grand?
What is next? More of the same. You will find working on that project will become your happy place. You’ve found the amazing person you are and it feels fabulous. Now it is time to dabble in letting that inner child loose again. This is the challenging part for most of us because it means you must trust. You must trust what I am saying, and trust yourself. But there is such magic on the other side, you will do it anyway. Start indulging in the things you loved. Feed the parts of you that delight in what they need to grow. They will, and the results will be beautiful. You will begin to shine. People who are like you will sense that you are genuine and naturally gravitate towards you, and trust you. Keep walking in that, growing in that, and sharing the real you with the world and it will respond. Sure, there will be those who reject the true you. It can even be family and those closest to you. But stand strong and trust that things are as they should be and let go of a need for acceptance. All it does is dim your lovely little light. Feeding what thrills you makes that light stronger. Makes you powerful. Creates success that you walk right into, quite naturally.
Here’s an Example from My Life
Let me give you an example from my own life of the power in that. I am a writer and speaker, so communicating with people is what I do, and why I am here. It used to be, except for my accent, to read my writing or hear me speak, I sounded just like anyone else. I used all the proper nomenclature (which I had to learn to use because my mind sees things differently) and would share things in a way I thought people wanted them. I even looked the part as a speaker. I was in the home schooling industry and that meant a conservative blue jean jumper with tennis shoes. So, I’d dress the part. I was not being myself. I was saying and doing, and trying to think, just like those in my niche. I’d keep my radically different ways of seeing things to myself. That is being mediocre, at best, and a sure fire way to have mediocre success. Not to mention, it took a lot of effort to cram myself into a mold and keep me there. Now, twenty years later, I give into myself. I communicate in the unique way my mind produces it. Sometimes the things I say make absolutely no sense to people. But… there are those who it resonates so strongly with, they get understanding.
Isn’t the Goal of Communication Understanding?
To develop an understanding in others of what you are trying to get across? Kabam! Mission accomplished… instant bond and a foundation for a relationship based on intuitive trust. While it is true that you might rise to the top of your field a little slower that way, the end results are worth the effort. Keep putting yourself out there, genuinely as you are. Your tribe will find you and the bond will be real and lasting. As you serve your tribe, it will seem effortless. As long as you keep being authentic, you are in the magic zone. And that is just the beginning. A whole new world opens up before you when you remove limits from who you are and how you think and what you do. There is freedom and power in that. And it is free. It is accessible inside of. All you have to do is find it and get used to letting it shine. Think of the innovators, the mover and shakers in your industry. Are they carbon copies of everyone else? Nope. They never are. That is why there are where they are in life. They dared to be themselves with gusto.
Are You Brave Enough to Do the Same?
Start today to get to know the real you, and commit to letting your unique light shine. Then get out there and be shiny! I look forward to seeing the difference it makes in your life. Please, if this touched you, or if you have any feedback, please comment, like and share.