Whether you need to touch base with your authentic self before you shape to the job you want; or if you are rediscovering who you are; or if you are creating that perfect personal brand, try these simple questions to maintain that sense of ‘feeling like you’ again.
A common mantra is – if you can be anything in the world, be kind… or be batman. I would prefer to start with – if you can be anything in the world, be YOU first. But very often we don’t always know who ‘you’ actually is. How often do you feel ‘people just don’t get me’, or ask yourself ‘why am I doing this, this isn’t me?’ or perhaps feel a twinge of envy when we see others whom we perceive as “more carefree” than we?
Firstly, a few home truths to accept:
- While we spend a great deal of time thinking about how we are perceived by others, even if they offer a cursory glance, they spend less time thinking about us – we are much more self-involved than we care to admit. So next time, dance like no-one’s watching because they really aren’t, they’re probably on their phones.
- Being ‘authentic’ is easy when your brand of authenticity is in – so says actor Billy Porter; and indeed, some people feel more authentic when their behaviour does conform to society’s norms! (This is ok).
- Many of us try to be ‘one way’ when in role and say our ‘true personality’ comes out when they aren’t in that role – we see the role as an ‘act’. While compartmentalising can help in some situations, if you can achieve a through line of truth throughout EVERYTHING you do, you will feel more holistic and in balance.
Authenticity keeps us grounded so ask yourself:
- With whom (and doing what) am I most comfortable (and seek to do it more – or include it in your job)
- What do I personally bring to the table (what is my USP) – and be proud of it – no-one can do it as well as you. If you are the most organised in the world – great, own it!
- How do I want to make others feel? (Or even how do I naturally make others feel? I am a naturally positive person and while I can be extremely serious as the need calls, it is important for me to surround myself with vibrant energy, or people who appreciate it)
- What 3 values describe me best? Work to live them every day!
- What do I want my personal presence to say?
This is a great way to start thinking about who you – or your brand – are, and whether you are putting that across in everything you do. Authenticity is about walking the walk, even if sometimes you have to adapt to the terrain.
Psychologist Professor Brene Brown said:
Authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a conscious choice of how we want to live… the choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
Show up, be real, be YOU.
This content has been created by authors in their personal capacity. Any views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pearson.