The Authenticity Initiative - Jenn's Answers
A friend of mine told me the other day that when she completes surveys online she often wonders what the person asking thinks. Of course as a person asking questions I would never try to bias or influence a response. So now that you have taken the survey here's a taste of my views, well for now.
Following are answers to the initial survey. If for some reason you stumbled onto this page without doing the survey please go do the survey first. Then come back and check out what I think.
What does being authentic mean for you?
Being authentic for me means being true to myself. This means I have to be clear about my values, beliefs and self. Authenticity is also about consistency between the inner me and the outer expression of me. It is not an excuse for any behaviour goes. But it is about being transparent and honest when it is appropriate. For me this is when 'being me' is an assertion of who I am in all aspects of my life not just one. When authentic I am consistent between home, work, groups and individuals.
Based on your definition of authenticity what is your GREATEST CHALLENGE in being authentic in both life and work?
For me the biggest challenge is vulnerability. To step forward as me and express the true me means that sometimes I may be hurt. It also ties into that very real habit and real part of me that says 'but what will others think?'. Over the years I have become more confident and able to be open. Though I do admit it still can depend on the situation. Likewise when I am being true to myself, my values and holding strong in this way I can seemingly offend or upset others who do not understand. The vulnerability associated with being strong in the face of other's reactions also is challenging.
In your experience what ONE thing you do that enables you to be MORE authentic?
Really knowing me from the heart not the head. I do A LOT of personal development and growth work. I think I have been in some way learning how to be me for as long as I can remember. Because of this commitment and investment in being me and knowing me from the depths of the soul, not just the surface, I have great clarity of me. I know more than ever now my values, beliefs, strengths, challenges and gifts. This was not always the case. But I can say 100% that the greater clarity I have now is the best enabler of me being authentic.
4. Using YOUR definition of authenticity how authentic are you at work?
5. Using YOUR definition of authenticity how authentic are you in your personal life?
6. Please feel free to share any other comments, questions or thoughts. (OPTIONAL)
I do not differentiate between being me at work versus my personal life. I do however recognise that many people do. Whether I am effective at being consistently authentic is another story. Just like you I am learning, changing, growing and evolving.
When in transition or change sometimes I like to retreat a bit. This may be perceived as inauthentic for people that do not know me well. For me this is how I look after me so is very authentic.
Also because I am forever asking the questions 'why?' 'what for?' 'what if?' I change my perspective, shift views and step into new ways. Someone who knows me from one iteration of my life will not necessarily get me if they meet me later or in another context. For example when facilitating a workshop for a client I am professional and work with the brief. However if a core value such as integrity or similar is compromised then I will step back and say no.
The growth is not about change as much as it is about being more comfortable in my own skin, more real. So if I for example answered the questions 4 and 5 many years ago the answer would be much further down the scale. I intend and aspire to be fully authentic all the time everywhere. I also have a lifetime to do this. This is how I see it. No pressure. No judgement. Well not as much as I used to have!
Right now the focus is no being as true to me as I can right now in the moment, today.
Want more on authenticity?
I started a podcast.
At the time of writing this page I have to admit it is a bit lean on episodes - 2 so far! Yes I started, then stopped. Long story for another day.
At least the first full episode is all about......yes you guessed it....AUTHENTICITY!
So if you want to delve more into the topic I invite you to head over to the podcast page, listen, subscribe and stay tuned. Yes I will do more episodes soon.