The word authentic has seeped into our vocabulary utilized freely in both our personal lives and at work. It is rare to listen to a presentation in this current environment without a leader speaking about authenticity.
The word has become synonymous with “acting in ways that show your true self”.
I believe there are potential dangers associated with the word authentic and some pause and investigation is required as more and more people continue to advocate its value.
As humans, we experience many emotions throughout our day. Our true self therefore reflects our emotions and can result in statements such as “If you don’t like what I said well that is your problem because I was being authentic”.
We do not live in a vacuum.
We have a responsibility to the people we care about: our family, our customers, our friends.
What they want is consistency NOT authenticity.
Emotions are energy. We know that energy flows and changes and as such we have an opportunity to view our energy as an outsider. When we better understand ourselves we can manage our energy and take the time to think about what we present to the world.
I do not think that the people we serve in our lives want the inconsistencies of our energies.
Authenticity would suggest that how we act reflects how we feel.
When we observe and understand our emotions, it helps us understand who we are first.
How do we change how we feel so that we can reflect our best consistent selves rather than our true selves?
Remember the advice “think positive?”
What has been learned over the years is that changing how we feel does not work by just thinking differently.
Behavioral activation is required. This means you must force yourself to act. Actions could be exercising or doing creative work or cleaning.
Mood follows action.
Instead of rationalizing authenticity, it might be better to step back, reflect, and take action if needed to change emotions and therefore you energy.
I value keeping promises over authenticity because accomplishing the former means doing it even when you do not feel like it.
Have a great weekend, Karl
Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not “being who you are”. That is because "being" is too amorphous and we are notoriously bad at judging that. Seth Godin
I used to think his blunt honesty was noble rather than what it really is…the cruelest way of hiding his own insecurities. Rebecca Welton (character in TV Show Ted Lasso)