A principle I have been actively working on is “authenticity.” What does it mean to be authentic? By definition, it means ‘of undisputed origin; genuine.’
We, as humans, put on these filters to portray a specific persona, to satisfy other people, and sometimes to satisfy ourselves. I do it all the time. The person I am at home is not the person I am at work. The person I pretend to be can vary from person to person. Where does this behavior come from and why?
I believe it stems from a level of insecurity and shame. There are all of these cultural and social influences around us that mend us to become “who we are.” There are more favorable behaviors, looks, and ideas than others and we are constantly trying to be these more desirable characteristics. Does anyone else find it exhausting?
I’ve always been the type of personality that’s very comfortable with myself and in social settings, but the work setting has always been a sore spot for me. I’ve always carried this insecurity with me that I wasn’t smart enough, worthy of a fun and well-paying job, or capable of accomplishing big things in life.
It has taken me a long time to understand where this behavior was coming from so I could work past it and improve my professional life. I had created a definition in my head of how the perfect employee should act, behave, and think. There are two problems with that. First, I had this idea of being perfect. I was afraid to make and admit to mistakes. Second, I separated myself from me. I was trying to be someone else instead of channeling my own talents and skill sets into my role.
When I stop emerging my own personality into my role, I find my work to be incomplete, lack quality, and my stress levels always tend to me through the roof. I had a moment at work where I was tired of always being short of my sales goals and always stressed. I reached my limit and I was ready to either kill it, or move on and find a different career path. Did I start working harder? Absolutely not; not working ‘hard’ wasn’t my issue. I shed that filter of insecurity, shame, and doubt I was carrying with me. I started manifesting ME into my work. Who am I? Someone who loves to talk to people, help people, be creative, and laugh. I implemented these values and skills into my work as a sales professional and my numbers started to increase and very rapidly.
By practicing authenticity, it has also done something else for me that I wouldn’t have expected. I have become more aware of my faults! Trust me, this is a great thing! By becoming aware of these traits, I’ve been able to shift my behaviors and responses to certain situations and found that my relationships/friendships started to improve. It’s so freeing to release yourself from those behaviors and egos!
People respond to authenticity and can sense when someone is acting ‘fake.’ No one likes fakers, so stop being one. After I had this ‘down to earth’ moment with myself in the work setting, I’ve started applying it to all areas in my life. I don’t mask who I am or what I want. Of course, there are boundaries…being authentic doesn’t give you permission to disregard others feelings or talk back to your boss. However, practicing authenticty will allow you to be more free in your body spiritually, emotionally and physically. You will start loving yourself more, others will follow suite and be more attracted to you. It just makes life more fun.
Just be yourself because you’re already awesome.