Do you feel pressure to put on a mask and conform to societal expectations in order to be successful? Have you ever considered why that is and if there is a better way? The definition of authenticity is: of undisputed origin; genuine. In other words, your words have to be truthful AND you have to actually believe what you are saying. Did you know: the most powerful emotion emitted from the human body is not that of love like many believe, but that of authenticity! Being authentic is literally the most powerful thing you can do which is why there is immense value in showing up authentically in life and why so many are craving it. Many will ask, but how do I do that? That’s a great question. Let’s explore that together.
One of the most important aspects of showing up authentically in your professional career is embracing your true self. Lean in to the things that make you you shine, while maintaining professionalism. It begins with self-awareness and an understanding of what makes you unique. Instead of trying to mold yourself into someone you’re not, focus on your superpowers. Spend time writing down and asking others what your strengths, passions, and values are. What makes you unique and how can you embrace that? When you show up authentically, you will experience a sense of alignment and fulfillment that cannot be replicated. Embracing your true self also allows you to build genuine connections with colleagues and clients, fostering trust and creating a positive work environment.
Think of an elephant with a rider. The rider represents your intellect and the elephant represents your true self. The rider can fight the elephant all day long to control the direction, but he/she does not have the strength to control the elephant. The only way is to ensure that both are aligned to the same goal. You don’t have to be perfect, you have to be you!
In a sea of professionals vying for the same opportunities, authenticity can be your differentiating factor. When you show up authentically, you bring a fresh perspective and unique ideas to the table. Authenticity allows you to tap into your creativity and showcase your true potential but in a real way. By staying true to yourself and your values, you attract opportunities that align with your authentic self, leading to more fulfilling and rewarding experiences. Remember, it is always better to be a genuine version of yourself than a mediocre imitation of someone else.
Inspire Others and Make a Lasting Impact
Authenticity has the power to inspire and influence others. When you show up authentically, you give permission for those around you to do the same. By embracing your true self, you become a role model for others who may be struggling to find their own voice. Your authenticity can ignite a ripple effect, creating a workplace culture that values individuality and encourages everyone to bring their whole selves to work. Furthermore, when you show up authentically, you are more like
ly to make a lasting impact on the people you interact with. Your genuine approach will leave a positive impression and build trust (there’s that word again), leading to stronger professional relationships and increased opportunities.
Let me give you an example, let’s consider an employee who works for a company that has multiple locations. Location A encourages their employees authenticity. Managers stop by and ask them how they are doing and if there is anything they could do that would allow them to do their job better. The catch though is that they genuinely listen, show that their employees are valued, and follow through. Customers are always asking why it feels so different at this location verses the other location across town. Our employee is happy and smiling, very helpful, and pleasant. However, at Location B, our employee is very different. He/she doesn’t speak much, he/she doesn’t go out of their way for customers, and you will rarely see a smile come across their face. Why the difference? At Location B, managers don’t ever come by ask talk to their employees, they don’t feel valued, and they are not allowed to show up authentically. Which location would you choose to work at? Simple choice if you ask me.
In a world that often rewards conformity (like the expectation to wear business dress to every conference), showing up authentically in your professional career can be a game-changer. Embracing your true self, standing out from the crowd, and inspiring others are just a few of the benefits of authenticity. Remember, you have a unique set of skills, experiences, and perspectives that no one else can replicate. You are the only you that exists. Embrace your authenticity, and you will be glad you did! Stay tuned for future articles that dive deeper into the HOW part of showing up authentically.