We hear a lot about the value of authenticity these days. Why it's important, the benefits, and how to get there. I'm officially on the authenticity bandwagon, but there is a pothole it's important to avoid. I call it the "Authenticity Snare."
Have you ever noticed you are well received and valued by one group and not so much in another? Have you ever acted the same exact way and one group responded with great applause and the other responded with jeers? Being authentic doesn't mean not taking others into account because to do so would be inauthentic. Being authentic doesn't mean acting exactly the same regardless of the circumstance. When we start to believe being authentic means we only need to act one way regardless of the circumstance and that we don't need to improve ourselves, we've officially fallen into the "Authenticity Snare."
Allow me to explain.
It's helpful to think of ourselves as a valuable gemstone. What makes a gem shine? What allows a gem to reveal its true value? Let's explore two aspects.
First, a gem has many facets or sides. A single gem would not be as brilliant with just one facet. The many facets work together to catch the light in a way that is more effective than if they were working separately. Depending on the lighting, the way the gem is turned and what facet is most prominent is important. In the same way, you have more than one facet to present to the world and depending on the situation and audience, bringing certain facets to the forefront will allow you to shine more brightly. A jovial and engaged persona might be a hit with one group, but not with another. Perhaps the other group requires your more thoughtful and objective persona.
Second, a gem benefits from polishing. The sparkling beauty of even the most perfect diamond will not be apparent if it is covered with dirt. Polishing does not change the inherent value of what is underneath, but it allows its full potential to shine through. In the same way, you will benefit from constantly learning and improving yourself. You don't have to be anyone else, but that doesn't mean you won't benefit from working on yourself. Making a habit of polishing your skills removes the barriers that might otherwise blur and obscure your full amazingness. Is that even a word?
When we live authentically by improving ourselves constantly and understanding what facet to bring forward in what scenario, we avoid the "Authenticity Snare" and can truly shine our brightest.
If you have experienced challenges with living your authentic life or have successes to share, I would love to hear from you!
Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.