“Who are you, really?”
When I ask this question, I’m usually greeted with confusion from my clients and colleagues. “What do you mean?” is often their first response.
What I mean is, “what parts of yourself do you sacrifice to maintain the carefully crafted façade of a perfect leader, employee, or person?” Understanding lights in their eyes.
Often, we push forward an image of ourselves that is piece-meal – only showing the parts of ourselves we want others to see. While this might seem like a good idea in the moment, we can often become frustrated because we are hiding parts of ourselves that are essential to who we are as human beings.
Self-acceptance is a major part of knowing ourselves. Many people find this a difficult thing to master. Denying certain parts of our personality, hiding emotions, refusing to admit mistakes, or running from past experiences are just a few ways people avoid acknowledging and accepting who they really are.
How do we master the art of authenticity when we don’t allow our true selves to shine? In short, we can’t. We might be good at faking it, but something will always be off.
There are three key components to authenticity – knowing yourself, being yourself, and sharing yourself. Being your real self is reflected in what you disclose and how you interact with others. It’s sharing your thoughts and beliefs, and having the courage to expose yourself psychologically. It’s the business leader who feels comfortable telling personal stories to the people she works with. It’s the leader who can talk about a time when she made a mistake out of ignorance or embarrassed herself by being thoughtless. By sharing stories like these, a person shows self-awareness and an understanding of herself. She shares herself with those she comes in contact with.
Sometimes it’s out of our comfort zones to show the world who we really are. There are stigmas that can flood our thoughts of why we shouldn’t reveal who we are. The truth is, you’ll most likely be more appreciated for simply being your real self. It makes you more trustworthy, enjoyable to work with, and shows people you aren’t afraid to stand out. Be who you are, appreciate your own quirkiness, your true self, and learn to respect yourself.
Show the world that you are an authentic person by simply being authentic.