Authenticity is Your Superpower!

authenticity weekly workout Sep 16, 2022

To say that something is authentic is to say that it is what it professes to be, or what it is reputed to be, in origin or authorship.

I attended a leadership event last week which included a speaker who presented very relevant and interesting information to the group. She discussed the rapidly changing developments in the workplace.

As part of her presentation, she offered ideas, concepts, and suggestions as to how leaders might adapt to this trend.

At or near the end of the presentation she posed this question to herself and the group, “where are we as a workforce going?” You could hear a pin drop as we eagerly anticipated the answer and then she said… “I have no idea!”

And there you have the perfect example of authenticity!

In the work I do with leadership coaching clients I find that authenticity can be very challenging for them and often their unwillingness to be authentic is the very thing that stifles their ability to connect with their teams, peers, and other leaders.

Being authentic takes courage…. being a leader takes courage!

In the past, I have written about self-awareness as a foundation of Emotional Intelligence (EQ.) I consider authenticity to be another essential pillar of EQ. Sort of like the other side of the same hand.

Self-awareness + Courage = a willingness to be authentic.

Being authentic does not mean that you verbalize every thought you think or feeling you feel. Discernment and good judgment are still necessary skills in developing healthy and functional relationships with others.

Being authentic means that first of all you are aware of what you think and feel which can be difficult for some. When people are accustomed to simply going along with group think they often lose the ability to clearly identify what is truly true for them.

Taking time to investigate and reflect upon how you genuinely think and feel regarding situations, ideas, decisions, proposals, etc. will be effective in developing your authenticity.

In addition, when you hold back your authentic perspective, you could very well be doing a disservice to the team and the organization. Your viewpoint might have been the missing link to resolving an important issue.

Other people are usually aware when you are not being authentic, and this can erode trust. People trust people who are genuine and sincere even if they do not agree with the position that person is taking.

When you model authenticity and establish the foundation of trust it provides a basis for your teams, peers, and others to come from a more authentic place.

As stated earlier, it takes courage to be authentic. So many people have a false belief that others have all the answers. No one has all the answers but what they may have is the courage to offer their authentic perspective.

I have personal experience with authenticity and continue working on it regularly. When I first began writing these articles I researched and found many opinions about what you “should or shouldn’t” do when writing articles.

There were guidelines related to the proper length, structure, and tone of articles. I told myself that they must be right since they were writing articles about writing articles.

I moved forward writing in a manner that was not authentic to me and not only were the articles awful I did not enjoy writing them.

When I found the courage to write in a manner that was much more authentic, I found myself energized and delighted to share my thoughts and ideas.

This does not mean that I ignored the feedback, comments, or suggestions from professionals and those with more experience but rather that I considered the feedback in the context of my authenticity.

My willingness to be authentic in my writing came from my intention. When my intention is focused on offering what I have regardless of others’ opinions I find the courage to be authentic.

We hear so much about the extraordinary impact of servant leaders. Those leaders exemplify authenticity because their intention is to serve.

Setting the intention to be of service creates a solid basis for being authentic.

This week as you practice authenticity shift from concern about what others might think of you to asking yourself how you can authentically serve.

Pay attention to those times when you are holding back your authenticity. Ask yourself, what is the intention behind your being inauthentic?

Once you have identified the intention ask yourself if the intention comes from your superpower of authenticity or your fear?

Make a conscious decision to align with your authenticity and see what happens!


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