Have you been feeling like yourself lately? Do you say what you mean, or what you think others want to hear? Do you do things for show, to impress, to look good? How true are you?
Authentic shades of you
Dictionary.com defines the word authentic as “not false or copied; genuine; real.” In our lives, we play so many diverse roles – family (mother, father, sister, brother, the strong one, the instigator), friend (the rock, the needy one, the good listener) and on and on. It’s rather natural and expected to be different shades of yourself within each of these contexts. At the core, it’s still you. Despite these different roles, there is something consistent and sincere about the qualities that emerges.
When you think how you play the role of professional at work, do you visualize another shade of you? Or are you something else entirely?
Glossy, not matte
When I was a management consultant, I saw my identity in my career. I attached myself to the position, prestige and brand of my company. I didn’t care what I thought. I cared what the partners thought. If you’ll permit me to continue the color analogy, I was glossy, not matte. I would reflect, adapt and morph into whatever I thought I needed to be to continue holding this image of myself to others. This went on for years.
What I lost in those years was my authenticity. I dressed like my colleagues. I adopted the language. I went out of my way to gain attention and self-promote my success. I indulged in mind games, although I would never admit that back then. I couldn’t swallow constructive feedback. I’ll never forget being told from a senior leader that in growing my career, it’s not about managing reality, but managing perception.
How can we bring ourselves back to our authentic selves? Here’s my tips for bringing yourself back to center, back to matte, back to the true you.
5 Tips to Regain Your Authenticity
- Notice your intentions – Keep working on the task at hand, not at winning people over, looking good or being on top.
- Express Yourself – Speak from your intuition or gut. Catch yourself speaking as if you’re putting on a show. Recognize mind games of others, and don’t play them.
- Be genuine – As soon as you feel fake, like you’re wearing a mask, give yourself an opportunity to take off the mask at that exact moment.
- Accept that mistakes happen – Let go of a fear of failure. You’re human, and it’s through mistakes in which you grow the most.
- Hold onto mindfulness – Second-guessing, regrets, dwelling on the past are energy-wasters. Instead, pay attention into what’s happening right now.
In each of the tips listed, know that you are in charge of your actions.
20-day Authentic Challenge
If being authentic is important to you, and you’re ready to make a stand today to revert back to a former, more true version of yourself, take my 20-day Authentic Challenge. It takes the average person 20 days to make a new habit stick. How confident are you that if you just made some small changes, you could see a difference in being authentic to yourself? What is the best that can happen by taking on this challenge?
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If you found value in this article, you might consider signing up for the Mindspaces Newsletter for more tips, secrets and strategies to support your personal development. You’ll receive a bi-monthly email. Get free instant access including content you may have missed. Jessica provides executive and career coaching at Managing Mindspaces.