In this week's podcast episode, I delve into a word that used to irk me to no end. It was one of those words that seemed overly used, lacking context, and left me wondering why it bothered me so much. I have a rule that if something bothers me, I have to figure out my aversion to it.
That word is "authenticity."
Authenticity is deeply intertwined with self-awareness, intuition, and living a life that aligns with who we are at our core. But lately, people seem to throw around the word without understanding its complexity. "Be authentic with me," they say, but when you are, they don't hear you because they've already decided about who you are.
This misuse of authenticity frustrated me, but it also prompted introspection. That's a good thing!
I've always believed you should figure it out if something bothers you. And interestingly, the theme of authenticity kept emerging as I explored different aspects of my life lately.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who said he was more himself with a certain group of people but not anywhere else. This makes sense. We feel more comfortable with some people, but it seemed he wasn't fully accepting himself because he was not being authentic with others, and he felt the discourse within.
I shared with him that I completely understood that there are ways we must behave in business, in public, or in certain situations where we wouldn't be so casual, but that doesn't mean we have to be completely different people or fake.
Authenticity, to me, is more than just being true to oneself. It involves understanding one's values, and actions, and how they align. It's about recognizing the various layers of ourselves and embracing them in different contexts. It's about consistency in being who we are, whether with close friends or strangers.
It's a lot less energy to be who we are wherever we go than to play the roles of life according to the audience present.
As I've worked on being more authentic in all areas of my life, I've learned that it's not about being liked by everyone. It's about liking and being proud of who I am. The journey is ongoing, and as I continue to evolve, I welcome the challenges and joys that authenticity brings.
So, if you're questioning who you are, celebrate it! You're embarking on a journey that will last a lifetime.
Authenticity is about knowing yourself, facing challenges, and growing through them. It's a process that leads to deeper connections, meaningful experiences, and a more aligned, fulfilling life.