“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde
Wilde is talking about authenticity: the act of staying true to your identity.
Authenticity isn’t just good for the soul - it's also good for business!
Authentic people waste less energy pretending, and can pour that energy into:
Supporting their colleagues
Expanding their knowledge
Giving customers excellent experiences
Finding satisfaction at work
Understand Your Values
Find your values and start living them! Values are your core beliefs: the attributes most important to you. This process can take time. That's okay.
As we learn, grow, and change in response to our circumstances our true values can be an anchor.
Some examples of values are:
To uncover your values, start an authenticity journal:
Keep track of times when you feel your most authentic, and when you hold back. Do any patterns emerge? What does this say about your values?
Masha is her most authentic when she feels safe sharing how she is feeling with her team, and when they share their feelings with her. What might one of her values be?
Accept Yourself As You Are
“To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect — and vulnerable.”
Accept who you are, including your shortcomings - we all have some qualities that we wish we didn't!
This is a place people often get stuck: being unable to admit they have flaws, or having difficulty accepting their flaws.
To work on self-acceptance, change your viewpoint:
Look at perceived flaws from a different angle:
Find a benefit of that quality: it’s not so bad having it after all.
Find one way you can improve: focus on what you would like to do instead.
"I tend to interrupt when someone is speaking. I must have lots of ideas to share! Next time though, I'll jot down my thought and keep listening."
Benefits of the exercise:
Vulnerability shows humanity. It takes courage to admit when you are wrong.
You are in control to make changes where appropriate.
Acknowledging flaws relieves the pressure to be perfect.
"I feel lighter now - if I interrupt I'll just quickly apologize and let the speaker continue!"
Which of these behaviours reflects self-acceptance at work?
Remember That You Are Not Alone
You are not alone if being authentic at work is challenging.
Ritu Bhasin, author of The Authenticity Principle, knows what it's like to struggle with authenticity. Hear a story from Ritu herself on how living authentically changed her life:
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we make every day. It's about showing up and being real. The choice to let our true selves be seen. How can you do this at work?