The Best Version of YOU! Are You Authentic?
I recently compromised my own authenticity with a friend and colleague which spurred on the itch to write this. Thank God for a true friend who has my best interest in mind and was candid with me. That isn’t the norm.
Through this experience I’ve learned that building transparency and authenticity must be a full-time endeavor. I’ve learned that I’m nowhere near being the authentic leader I want to be. Hence, the lifelong journey!
What does it mean to be an authentic leader? I hear this word thrown around the work place A LOT! We all hear it on conference calls at work, politicians, and heck even the media and every news channel swear their slant on the “World Front” is authentic! I always get a chuckle when I hear that garbage spouting from someone who’s pushing their own slant or agenda and swear they’re “Authentic.”
Definition of Authentic: Representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.
The word authentic comes from the Greek word for author or master. So, you could surmise that we are ALL the author of our lives. So, when our lives intersect with others, our character, strengths, values, and short comings are on public display. So be HUMAN and you, ONLY YOU, nothing more.
I’ve found for myself Ego perpetuates me from growing and being authentic. To apologize means your weak! False, it means you have character and a conscience. The more we develop this skill the more we can squash those negative voices that hold us back.
5 steps I use: “Best Version of You Exercise”
Step 1: Open your mind to increasing your self-awareness and improving YOU!
Step 2: Write down or document your strengths, values, and what defines your character. Be honest in your critique!
Step 3: Reflect on what you’ve wrote. Do your actions match the bulleted points you wrote about yourself?
Step 4: Sharpen the blade. Share your reflections with a mentor, coach, or someone you trust your deepest thoughts with. Get their perspective from a different lens. Come up with your own constitution and declare it.
Step 5: Have a plan and act! You’ve been at this your whole life so improving your authentic self should be viewed as a marathon not a sprint.
In closing, to be authentic is not a warrant to obsess with oneself. It’s about bridging the gap between one’s character and values and letting your actions be your loudspeaker. The best version of you is not an adjective it’s a verb, so take action.