By Louise Hallam
When was the last time you were truly yourself?
We are often portraying a different version of ourselves, mostly without realising it and especially at work. Were you aware that you become a different person at work, maybe you are more assertive, more confident or even harder on others? Maybe it’s the opposite, you become more timid, sensitive and quiet? It’s often the things that trigger our behaviour that brings about these opposites.
The thoughts that we tell ourselves, the limiting beliefs. These are usually learnt, not from last week, but perhaps earlier in our working life, adulthood or even childhood. We are telling ourselves daily myths about ourselves. ‘I am not good enough’, They’re better than me’, ‘No-one is going to listen to me’. We’ve forgotten how to be our authentic self. So what can you do to start keeping it real?
6 steps to being authentic
- Know your core values and beliefs and your intention. Identify with verbs that define what you are aiming for. ‘Communicating, connecting, learning or organising’. Be creative with your own.
- Create your own mission statement using these words and then reflect on how your current work situation meets these qualities. What are the opportunities that you can pursue to align you with them?
- Be ok with sharing your weaknesses, people identify with others who they believe are self-aware and even a bit vulnerable. Check out this TED talk, The Power of Vunerability by Brene Brown
- Identify the thoughts and beliefs that you are telling yourself and recognise them as the myth they are. Start telling yourself ‘I am good enough’ and go for that promotion!
- Find the right balance between showing up with everything about yourself, personally and professionally and what you can do to build trust.
- Don’t gossip about other people, managers or colleagues. If people hear you doing this, they may think you say similar things about them too. Find a good side to everyone with kindness.
Being truly authentic with yourself brings a happiness and a sense of true purpose. When you know exactly who you are and what you believe in you can find a sense of inner peace that helps to stabilise you and sustain you. It’s a scary step, as you worry that the new you might be someone that people don’t like or you change beyond all recognition. Isn’t that the exciting bit?
Mindfulness and Authenticity
- Practising being in the moment and free from the distractions of the mind, means that taking action becomes dynamic and authentic.
- You trust your inner knowing, that gut instinct that comes from wisdom rather than learned knowledge. You are acting from a place of certainty rather than doubt.
- You allow yourself to respond how you want to rather than putting the brakes on or reacting in the moment.
- You allow yourself to truly express who you are and not worry about what other people think. You engage with people from a different and more peaceful place.
- You can be contented and comforted that whatever the outcome of a situation you were acting as the real you.
Next time you stop yourself from saying or doing something that you really believe in, think about what’s the worse that can happen, what are your core beliefs and values and what would happen if you lived them out on a daily basis. Become who you came to be.