Being authentic might seem antithetical to participating in a world that seems to encourage a well-curated image, but authenticity is the not-so-secret shortcut to connecting with anyone, from clients to colleagues.
We live in a world where screens dominate a significant portion of our day. The infinite scrolling of content aimed at projecting something more aspirational than real serves to convince many of us that we fall short of these lives that are bombarding us with a life we don’t seem able to match. Much like the photoshopped photos of celebrities, we are left to compare ourselves to something that isn’t even real.
With anxiety, depression, and even suicides increasing over the last decade, numerous studies have pointed to the social media phenomenon of everyone putting their best foot forward as being a major contributing factor. Why then would we feel compelled to create content that only adds to this?
Beyond connecting with other human beings in a way that feels much more earned and real, being a more authentic version of yourself offers the potential to feel better about what you are putting out into the world, decreasing the potential for stress, anxiety, and depression.
SO HOW DO YOU “BE AUTHENTIC”?
I am no expert but my journey has been filled with false starts and long stops along with aspirational sharing, under sharing, oversharing, and sharing things that seemed like what I was “supposed to” share. Admittedly, I have gone through a specific journey, processing traumas, navigating grief, dealing with some high-level serious stuff that was often paralyzing. But all of us are going through something and we each have a story to tell.
No matter where you are in your life, I would encourage you to spend some effort deciding who you are, rather than who you want to be. Assess your personality, interests, strengths, weaknesses, fears, aspirations, and values. These are among the many things that define you, give you an identity, and are unlikely to shift significantly. Knowing who you are puts you on much more solid ground to “keep it real,” making your public and private personas much more seamless.
People don’t get excited about folks who come along and look, sound, or act like everyone else. They respond to people who are unique and whether you buy into it or not, you are unique, we all are.
In an article titled 14 Ways To Discover And Project Your Authentic Self, Online And Offline, the Forbes Coaches Council shares specific ways that you can improve in being authentic.
The Top Five are:
You know when you are not being authentic when you listen to the chattering in your mind and act, do or speak from that fear. In contrast, you can cultivate a relationship with your authentic self when you spend time asking yourself what you want from a certain person or situation and then listen to the wisdom of your gut, heart, and head to guide you. This will help you tune in to your inner voice. – Susan K. Wehrley, BIZremedies
Speak, tweet, and write your appreciation to do the work you do, the accomplishments of your clients, the innovations in your industry, the science coming out to support your vision, and the opportunity to help others through the solutions your team or company provides. Always think about the ripples you want to make, the legacy you want to leave, and the bar you want to set in all communications. – Bobbie Goheen, Synthesis Management Group
If you find that your sense of “self” is being negatively influenced by or dictated by what you read or watch, do something about it. Disconnect from unhelpful media. Limit your exposure. Own the inputs that you want feeding your sense of self. Decide which kind of messaging best feeds who you are trying to become. It’s psychological nutrition. Get rid of toxic influences. Add healthy ones. – Christian Muntean, Vantage Consulting
An experienced traveler needs a compass to find a path in the unknown. Luckily, we are not devoid of inner compasses—our core values. A defined set of principles becomes a strong catalyst for change and a handy system for daily decision-making. Whenever you want to embark on a journey of being authentic, start with naming them and then, before acting, ask, “How does this address my values?” – Inga Bielinska, Inga Bielinska Coaching Consulting Mentoring
Authenticity equals brand equity, even as a personal brand. People have more digital choices to connect to the products and services they desire and need. They are demanding trust or they will not connect, let alone buy. Understanding your audience and how your brand connects to their lifestyles will help you curate online content to create value and genuinely connect to your tribe and customer. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
(READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE)
I truly believe that if you invest yourself in knowing yourself and commit to sharing who you are openly, honestly, with humor and humility, people will respond so positively, you may find just start to believe you have something genuine to offer anyone who is paying attention.
If you are struggling to find your authentic voice and build a brand strategy that allows your authentic self to shine through, then contact me to schedule a free 45-minute brand strategy assessment.
Meet Christina Aldan for the first time and you will feel as if you have known her all your life. she is proof that you can Create Your Luck with perseverance and a desire to learn.