Thursday, March 22, 2012

Are You Being Your Authentic Self?

You hear people say "be your authentic self" and you might think yes, I am, but are you really?

Over the years, I’ve had different friends and associates tell me I was “authentic” and that was one of the things they liked and admired about me. I always appreciated what they said as a nice compliment and went about my business. 
A friend that I met on Twitter, Tom Ziglar, (son of Zig Ziglar) and I started chatting years ago and he said that a large part of what he learned about success from his father was to be authentic and he gave me that great compliment in my twitter stream.
The other day, a very good friend whom I now hear from only once a month or so called me because something happened in his life. 

He used a story from my life to explain to those present a point he was trying to make.  He said that in whatever situation he has ever seen me in; at home, work, seminars, conferences, with my family or friends, I basically was always the same.  This is one of the core things he admires about me.  He stated that his comment created quite a discussion about it in his group.
So with all this attention, I started thinking about it and what it means to “be your authentic self” and wondered:
·         If you adapt to a situation to be heard and understood, are you being inauthentic?

·         If you refrain from telling people details of your personal life, are you living a lie?

·         If you are learning new skills but feel awkward when trying them out, are you being a fake?

·         Or are you being an authentic human trying to fit into various social situations?

·         Why be authentic in the first place?

·         What purpose does it serve?

·         How will it benefit you?
My personal belief is that if you are still in alignment with your own core thinking, acting, and what you believe in all situations, then yes, you are being your authentic self. 
If you are pleasant, polite, well organized, resolve problems well and easy to get along with at work, if you are authentic, you are that way at home, too and vice versa.
That to me is being your authentic self.  
Now that you know what it is, so what?  How can it help you?
From my reading and observations, it appears to be a key element to long standing success in all areas of life.  I stress all because one can be inauthentic and be a success in one area of life and then be a terrible failure in another.
We see examples of that everywhere. 
·         Celebrities who are famous and wealthy but have issues with drugs, alcohol or can’t stay in loving relationships.

·         People who are very loving at home yet don’t ever make enough money.

·         People who get along with everyone at work and then fight with their spouses or children.

·         The list goes on and on.
But in reviewing people who live ordinary lives and even well-known successful people, you find something in common. The ones that are always their authentic self are successful and happy in ALL areas of life.
Now that you know what being authentic is and why it can help you to have a successful life, you may wonder how you can live a more authentic life.
First, review your life and see how authentic you are now.  This is quite easy to do and can take only a few minutes. 
Think about inviting all the people you work with into your home today, right now.  How does that make you feel?  If they saw your home and how you deal with your family with hidden cameras, would that be ok with you?
Also, think about having your family see how you are at work and how that make you feel?
If any time you think of having all the people in one area of your life, see you in another area of your life it makes you feel uncomfortable, then that is an area of your life that you are not being your authentic self.
Once you have determined this, make the necessary changes to your behavior, environment, speaking, etc. to get more in alignment with who you want to be and be that in every situation, not just some of them.
Once you do this, you will be amazed how much the other areas of your life will improve.


  1. Thanks for sharing Kathy. I think this idea of authenticity can be applied to many aspects of life, including work. Executive coaching classes may help a person to identify their strengths and authentic characteristics and allow them to be more successful as a leader..

    denver executive coach

    1. I agree, it is best to be authentic in all aspects of life and a life coach can help with that.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    I find it remarkable that even though all the inspirational phrases in your blogs have some meanings to do with motivations. I find that the philosophy of them all somewhat usefull and some a tad boring where I soon became judgemental on whos story is the better irrespective of the persons agenda.

    My name is Paddy Ngapari Rangihaeata and I am writing my first autobiography on how I got inspired to get myself motivated again after taking 6 months off work .I have used a phrase in my story which seems to sum up all that I wrote in my autobiography of which I feel quite comfortable with and it's 'All that you seek is already all within yourself'
    This phrase was based on my own feelings when I got through my struggles and to help me get through these issues was to acknowledge all my body fuctional parts...The story actually tells how I finally got to this stage and actually have found it to be an inspiration to a few of my friends who have come to me with their problems. I was able to share an ear to their problems and was able to guide them out from their bad habits etc to find their new direction in life. I am not a writer I am just a normal 56 yr old semi retired builder with a vision.I am only half way through my book and looking forward to complete what maybe a series soon in the hope that you may review my book as I have your blogs. I will continue to monitor the progress of your blogs in the mean time. Thank you

    Paddy Ngapari Rangihaeata

    1. I agree that all that you are seeking is already inside of you or on your path. Thanks for commenting and good luck with your book.