Return to Authenticity

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!

Liv Sig

“Maybe I’ll Just…”

I talk with a lot of people who are stagnant, frustrated, or desperate. One person might not be where they want to be in their career. Another person might be where she wants to be but recognize that it’s not what she expected. Someone else might realize that his work life is now costing him in more ways than it’s paying off. Yet another person altogether may be facing a challenge so new and different that success seems impossible and fear is growing.

No matter the specific scenario, when a person feels stuck, defeated, or in distress a common reaction is to want to escape in the quickest way possible. It makes sense that in the stress and exhaustion of those intense periods of low motivation, misalignment, uncertainty, or sheer overload we yearn for something—anything!—that will save us.

That’s typically when the “maybe I’ll just” thoughts rise up.  You know the ones…it’s things like:

“Maybe I’ll just quit and work in a coffee shop.”

“Maybe I’ll just get an individual contributor role that I can do in my sleep.”

“Maybe I’ll just forget about my business and get a job.”

“Maybe I’ll just stop caring so much.”

Every thought or utterance that starts with “maybe I’ll just” contains an element of flight.

Sure, there is a sense of liberation in these thoughts; a feeling of relief. And yes, saying something like this can feel like breaking free from struggle, worry, and pain. A lot of times, thoughts like this can even feed a fantasy of disappearing and withdrawing completely.

At the same time, every single “maybe I’ll just” statement or thought also represents a giving over of your power, your capacity, and your right to deliberately (re)shape your circumstance. No matter how deep in a hole you feel you are, regardless of your level of stress, busy-ness, uncertainty, or boredom you have the opportunity and ability to do something about it. You don’t have to check out!

Believing that your only option lies in “maybe I’ll just” is a cop out. The “maybe I’ll just” approach to working and living is the equivalent of throwing in the towel, or waving the white flag. It is a disengaged and unconscious way of deciding your future.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Even in the toughest, most desperate situations we all have the ability to choose for ourselves. While it is often the case that in deep exhaustion, stress, desperation, or apathy we feel like there is no option but to flee, we can ALL do better than that.

Success and happiness come as a result of our deliberately deciding and creating it. It isn’t haphazard. It isn’t lucky. Rather it is decisive, intentional, clear, and in positive support of what is best for us at the time.  

And no, this doesn’t rule out you quitting your job, selling everything, and moving to an island. It merely says that if you’re going to claim that option you do it with your full attention, engagement, strength, and ownership.

To your happy success!

Liv Sig

(If you’re about to make a “maybe I’ll just” decision let’s talk NOW! Let’s spend 30 minutes on the phone to ensure that what’s on the other side of the “just” is what you truly want and is aligned with your most important priorities. Reach me at liv@livsyptak.com or 303.912.5726.)