Hey! Are you questioning yourself already: “What? Now, am I not being genuine?” If you’re asking yourselves that, then I am glad. We need to do that self check-in often in our relationships, whether personal or professional, to see if something doesn’t feel right. Are we alienating our true nature to present ourselves as something or someone that we aren’t? Whether it is through our self-expression via clothes or conversations or what we decide to share or like or post on social media? Yes, we’ve all been there, however, the point is, to NOT get stuck in that unauthentic zone, indefinitely, right? Yeah, because, when we really aren’t our true selves, not only is it mentally exhausting, but it also makes us less likable, kills our creativity, damages our communications skills, and makes less productive too.
We’ve all had a fair share of inauthentic behaviors. We’ve been there, however, the point is, to NOT get stuck in that unauthentic zone, indefinitely, right? Because, when we really aren’t our true selves, not only is it mentally exhausting, but it also makes us less likable, kills our creativity, damages our communications skills, and makes less productive too. Not to mention, when we try to act, what we truly really aren’t people can feel it. And we know how that feels, right?
I’ve been doing a bit of research in this context, lately and found through my literature that 90% of people try to act as someone else: perhaps acting as though they know it all and don’t need any further education; or perhaps they are so over productive when they are actually not; or act as though they are in a space where they are far ahead or way up the ladder, when it actually may not be the case. These unauthentic self-expressions occur in various walks of life and because of multiple social and psychological baggages.
Imagine this situation at work, we’re told to work on areas we’re weak in, instead of focusing on areas of our strengths. What does that lead to? It leads to our brains thinking that we need to be someone else. We try to find examples and mimic other people’s actions when we actually don’t even feel right about it in our gut. We can, however, change this social and psychological construct to be our biggest motivator and break out of the clutter of being “sameys.” We can genuinely express our true and authentic selves without being mean and bad to another human being. Here are 5 simple ways to give this go:
- Be your own expectatation: You have to do the work on the inside, not the outside. You cannot keep advising others when you actually don’t work on things, yourself. what you do and make time for in a day more than anything else. what are you doing to develop yourself
- Genuinely be nice: Oh my goodness, we need more this in the world. Thankfully, things are changing around us, however, we still have some folks who think that they need to be mean, or bad or cunning or snappy, to show that they know more or are better than another person. Trust me, there is abundance in this world. We can all live and be good together. It is important to speak your mind and be open about things, however, it should come from a place of authentic vulnerability.
- Be utterly honest with your communications: I would share a simple, day to day example in this case. This one is truly one thing that hits people hard in the “genuine/insincere” categorization. How often would you be giving your advice? I am an expert in 3 areas and I refrain from opening my mouth and prefer listening more. Why? Because, I’ve understood that any unsolicited advice makes us communicate unauthentically. It makes us assume authority over context and content. Sometimes, without even realizing we think we want to come across as intelligent or as someone who knows more. And what does that do? That not only damages our relationship because we make another person unintentionally feel inferior. Also, in the moment, we forget that WE ARE HUMANS, we all will make mistakes and the next time such an advisor will not be spared. Unless, someone truly comes and asks for advice, please don’t really go for it. Not only is it douche, but it makes one look like we’re coming from an ingenuine place. And trust me, when we genuinely communicate something we’d truly be concerned about, it wouldn’t look like an advice. It would be a lovely conversation.
- Focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses: More often, to “fit the bill” we try to focus on developing skills that we don’t have or rather the ones that we think are our weaknesses. We need to switch the game to focus on our strengths through small daily rituals for self-improvement, which lead to exceptional results over time.
- Don’t try to act big by putting someone small: As Robin Sharma rightly puts it, “big people don’t make others feel small.” We all truly wouldn’t want to put anyone down, whether in conversations or even otherwise. This kind of an attitude often comes from some deep rooted insecurities, which we need to tap into. It is the first step to ensuring we are truly being ourselves, as our core desires.
- Stop the judgment cycle: When we judge someone’s actions, we re-wire our brain to think of what is the “right” and the “wrong” way of things and immediately go back to a place where we begin questioning our own self-expression. If anyone tries to break the judgment chain, is not only judged but questioned for our experiences or knowledge or (directly or indirectly) told that we aren’t “good enough” (this one comes very often, as if our brain talk wasn’t enough). We especially need to be aware of this, when we are so fast to assume authority over context, and assume that we’re better than someone else… or even judge situations or people, which really, truly doesn’t need a negative review. Regardless of people laughing at you, whether right in your face or behind your back, just be you.
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