AUTHENTICITY: of undisputed origin; genuine.
I rarely rant on social media nor do I give my opinions, judgments (yes, judgments because we all have them), beliefs or feelings to others whenever an opportune moment presents itself – that’s just not my style. I don’t mean I never state my opinion or experience about a topic. I guess I just prefer to listen first and then when I feel an authentic moment comes where my opinion is of value, I insert it.
I think authenticity is the trait I cherish most – in a person, brand, relationship, product, outlook… you name it.
Having a voice is a privilege. I’m all for creating a culture of positivity, sharing moments of success and expressing our opinions… but I’d like to see more people be authentic in how they use their platform.
We live in world where we glorify the hustle, being busy, cutting down our competition, making it rich or whatever… thus forcing us to constantly compare ourselves in some way to others. And what do we get in return? We feel pressure to promote only the triumphs in our lives. When the reality is, at any age, we are all more or less going through the same things. If we spent more energy being genuine people instead of “one-uppers,” I think there would be less pressure, more consciousness, and love for ourselves and one another.
The subject of authenticity has presented itself a lot in my life lately. Reoccurring in small ways. I think its important to listen to the world when it speaks. Cheesy I know, but I think there is a reason for these instances. What that reason is, I don’t know. But somehow, someway, I’m reminded that authenticity is something I value. It is something I try to practice – like a religion. It is how I treat my family, friends, clients, and even strangers. It is in the products I buy. The food I eat… it is all around me.
I’ve learned that I’m actually a shy person when I’m among a new group of people. I find myself experiencing a rush of anxiety and adrenaline. Most people would assume I’m confident and outgoing. And although those traits both may also be a part of my personality, they do not define who I am with others. First, I observe a situation and how a person holds themselves. I wait to get a feel for their persona. Then based on those observations I reveal a portion of myself and add value where I think is appropriate. This relates back to what I said in the beginning – you won’t find me imposing my opinions on any given topic. This is just me. It’s not wrong, right or whatever, its just how I am. As I get to know you, I then feel it is more appropriate to express my feelings. And even then, there are situations with people I’ve known for years where I don’t reveal my true opinions about something because merely I don’t think it is my place to give judgements about their life or situations.
Now, maybe that contradicting. If you’re not always being upfront and honest, are you not being fully authentic?
My point is, and I have one I promise, that we are all different.
We each have ways of expressing ourselves, and sometimes that means always telling it like it is, or maybe even putting others aside to build ourselves up. I don’t think difference is bad, in any form. Even when it comes to controversial topics like politics and religion. I actually think it is good that we all don’t believe in the same things. But one thing that I do think should be consistent among people, is their authenticity. Owning up to who you are and your actions. Respecting another people without judgement. Being authentic in your motives, and being considerate.
It’s funny, when you’re a kid a simple question such as, “how are you?” is truly asking: are you happy? Sad? What are you excited about? Now it seems that same question has become a platform for people to either inject their opinion about something or provides an opportunity for them to gloat. It is so often I speak with colleagues and even friends and the whole conversation of “how are you” is revolved around work, money, and material things. Once the conversation ends, I don’t even know if that person is really happy.
What would happen if we were honest? What would happen if people genuinely connected, supported each other, were more considerate and lifted each other up?
Beautiful things I’m sure.