Appreciate & Embrace the Authentic You
Once, after giving a presentation, I was thanked for my vulnerability. No one had ever told me this before and in reflecting on her comment I realized I was not being vulnerable, I was simply being authentic.
“Because at the end of the day, we want nothing more in life than to be ourselves. That’s the feeling we’re all chasing: that simple, awesome joy that comes from not having to pretend to be something we’re not. We call that feeling ‘authenticity.’” – Jordan Harbinger
At times, it is not easy being authentic in today’s world. It is a difficult state to achieve due to the social pressures that surround us to “fit in”, “be like…” and “live like…”. Not being authentic means projecting a persona that conflicts with your values and true character. And to that end, it has taken me years to get over the idea that I do not have to be the perfect presenter with the perfect outfit or the perfect makeup or the perfect talk or the perfect responses to the questions.
Ultimately, what captures the audiences I speak to is my display of heart, truth in my own experiences, and demonstrating that human quality of imperfection that we try so hard to hide.
And I am an expert on imperfection.
Yes, that means that I am emotionally exposed in ways that can feel very scary, but for the sake of the learnings I want to convey, I’m willing to be scared.
I'm willing to feel that GULP and do it anyway.
My relationship with my audiences feels more intimate when I am authentic. The questions that come from the audience are deeper and more personal. The people who talk to me after share some very intimate things with me. The art of leadership is the art of simply being you. Communicate your authenticity with passion in all situations and it will bring you many rewards throughout your career and your life.
The bottom line is that authenticity breeds authenticity. This is a space where one can feel close to others without even knowing them. Where we can find that commonality of simply being a human being in this world.
“How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people." - Edward F. Benson
Photo credit: Brett Jordan