Authenticity. It sounds so simple. Touted as a hallmark of outstanding leaders, hailed as the root of personal fulfillment and happiness. Real. True. Genuine. You.
But it’s clearly not simple. The degree to which people are discontent, disconnected, and disillusioned in not just our workforce but our society as a whole suggests that there’s more to it than the basic advice to “just be you.” The litany of courses, guides, and training programs that exist to develop authenticity indicates that this is something to be learned. But this is backwards!
We don’t learn authenticity so much as we unlearn inauthenticity.
As we are subject to increasingly intense pressures from more directions than ever it becomes tougher and tougher to stay oriented to what is real and genuine about us, our purpose, our work, and our connections.
Professional pressure to always be “on,” to not piss off people you might need on your side later, to keep doing more despite feeling less productive, less effective, and less energized. Personal pressure of all stripes including “mommy” (or daddy) guilt, derailed exercise programs, nagging home improvements. The pressure to ascend to titles, to be a thought leader, to eat this and not that, to have well adjusted multi-dimensional kids, and to do epic shit on top of it all…is A LOT! And that doesn’t even count the pressure we feel as a result of the volatile social, political, and cultural state of our country and the world.
We are pushed and dragged constantly. Pulled off track, away from center, away from what is aligned with what we value most, away from authenticity. As a result, we are irritable, challenged to attend to the things that really matter, uninspired, and detached. That’s when we become inauthentic. And also, it almost goes without saying, when we become less effective and less successful than we an and want to be.
Inauthenticity in our midst is not because we don’t have it in us, or because we haven’t learned how to be authentic. We all just ARE authentic; inherently. We don’t need to learn what it is and how to be it.
What we do need to learn is this: how to reorient, recalibrate, and realign our experiences, interactions, thoughts, actions, goals, and outcomes to what is most important and most true to us. When we do, we reclaim what’s real for us, we RETURN to authenticity.
My clients work through this process as a part of creating the success and fulfillment they want on their terms. Regardless of each client’s personal situation, they all engage the process in the same way. And you can to.
Start seeing where you may be sucked into thoughts, actions, comments, behaviors, and endeavors that aren’t connected with what you really value, what you really want, and what you really stand for in live and work. Start to recognize when you feel off kilter or off course. Consider the impact that continuing to be that way will have to to how you show up to others, to your confidence, to your results, to your aspirations, and to your connection with yourself and your family. How real does that feel? How energizing is it? In what way does that match or not your vision for success and happiness?
Learning to catch yourself in the midst of inauthenticity and to recognize fully what is happening is the first step to getting back to your real potential. Only when you do so will you get back to the real success that you deserve!
If you’re experiencing lack of alignment or inauthenticity and struggling to turn that around, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost your mojo. It’s all there. You and I on the phone for 30 minutes can pinpoint what’s happening and chart a course for YOUR return to authenticity. Drop me a note and we’ll set something up!
To your authentic success!