When I started learning about values I discovered “authenticity” was a bad mama jama value for me.
When I meet someone I don’t want the glossy, airbrushed, everything is “GREAT!” version of life, I want it real and raw. I want the cracks in the pavement. The frays around the edges.
The moment someone drops the mask and lets you in — there’s nothing else like it.
Knowing that they trust you with their fears, doubts, or fantasies (of wanting to slowly roll out of a moving car to escape kids screaming in the back, for example). That’s the real deal. That’s connection. That’s the juicy stuff that makes life worth living.
Everything else is like a canned laugh track from an 80s sitcom. You can sniff that fake nonsense from a mile away but after a while you become totally numb to it.
Today, we’re so inundated with filtered, curated perfection that when someone shares authentically it explodes through the white noise of blah-ness, gives you a rush of adrenaline, and then immediately makes you feel less weird.
If we let our masks down and started sharing more authentically it would do the world a whole lot of great.
It would make friendships better.
It would make marriages better.
It would make leaders better.
It would make businesses better.
Don't just take my word for it, though. Here are some thoughts on authenticity from some pretty awesome women leaders.
Patty McCord, former Chief of Talent at Netflix, on Girl Boss Radio podcast "Company Culture Expert, Author and Former Chief Talent Officer of Netflix" May 9 2018
"So the most important thing to be is authentic. If you’re wandering the floor and you don’t really like people and you’re wandering the floor to see who’s fucking up. Then that’s not going to work so well for you. If you’re the person that has better conversations 1:1 and you like getting more deeply into it, then have a bunch of skip-level meetings. You might want to have a different methodology about it. What’s really important is that you are who you say you are.”
Tina Müller, CEO of Douglas, from the article “Is there still room for authenticity in our professional lives?” published July 20, 2018 on LinkedIn
“Authentic people are brave enough to question the status quo! It’s about seeing things from a very personal perspective, as well as from new perspectives and standpoints, and reasoning with enthusiasm and credibility. That’s how things change – and ultimately move forward. Conventions and shared values give a team or a business a form of consensus, a framework, and behavioural regulation. However, I realised very early on in my career that without authenticity we become like mice on a wheel. A business cannot be successful unless both pillars – convention and authenticity – are supporting it.”
Marie Forleo, on Amy Porterfield’s podcast "How to 10X Your Results in 2018 (and Beyond) with 3 Dead Simple Strategies" Feb 18, 2018
“You have no idea the level of relief that people will feel and the level of connection they start to associate with you when you show them different sides of yourself. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable. When you let them see the real you, all of you. And you dismiss this notion of trying to be perfect….I don’t care what business that you’re in. People want to do business with another human that they can relate to. Someone who shows them all of who they are. The ups, the downs, the lefts, the rights, the good, the bad, people want all of you and don’t be afraid to share it.”
Exercise: Increase your authenticity in 6 easy steps
- In one sentence, what does “authentic” mean to you?
- When and where and with whom are you the most authentic?
- How does that authenticity make you feel?
- What does it allow you do to?
- Where else in your world would you like to be more authentic?
- What impact would that have on you and on others?
I’d love to help you get more in touch with your wild, authentic side.
So comment below with your responses or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org