I was having a conversation with my nephew’s friends on Facebook which started out with ‘why people are pretenders’. I joined in the dialogue about when we live into our authentic self we don’t feel the need for the false self, the pretense and it’s freeing.
One guy made a great comment that we all evolve so being authentic is not a “state of being”. It was such a great comment because it really caused me to think!
It is true we are all growing and evolving and growth is not static – but I take the view that we were pre-destined for a purpose and that our authentic self is our real personality, the best version of who we were created to be. Even those things others see as flaws when we embrace the authentic self we can leverage for the purpose they were intended and this helps us side step the value judgments of others. What do I mean by that? On several motivational talents assessments I score low on compassion – does that mean i’m not compassionate, i.e. loving or kind? NO, (though on occasion I’m sure my hubby would disagree 🙂 ) for others years I thought there must be something wrong with me not to score higher on compassion. As I began to embrace my authentic self I realised that I’m not gifted in the area of compassion, I’m no Mother Theresa as I am not motivated by visiting the sick and the poor. But do I wish for their lives to to be different and want to help change it – Yes – but not through the gift of compassion. I’m an activist and that’s why as a lawyer I did social welfare law because that is where I sought to contribute to such persons. I stopped judging myself and recognised that I was made with the personality that I have because it resonates with the client group I am called to, particularly leaders.
So yes, I agree authenticity is not static, it’s not a destination but it does involve a journey – a journey to discovering who we truly are, instead it becomes a state of mind. A great resource for thinking about authenticity is Lifeforming Leaderships coaching’s model: Stages of authenticity
- Stage 1 – we experience authenticity based on our need for it and it’s usually initiated by others
- Stage 2 – we are seeking authenticity in relationships and we will open up to those we trust
- Stage 3 – we are catalysing authenticity, i.e. we are secure in who we are and we will initiate being authentic whether or not others do so first, and whether or not we know the person to be trustworthy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts so do leave a comment.