T21 welcomes another guest writer to our blog, the super-talented PJ Surani who shares her thoughts on the advantages of showing your true persona to the modern business world.
We are constantly bombarded with questionable advertising, doctored images, manipulated profiles of even the most revered in society and a whole host of media tools to tell us that it is best to curate your persona rather than be your genuine self! A world where we are selectively involved with designing one’s ‘ideal self’ rather than exposing all there is to bare….
In essence we are being told ‘Fake it until you make it!’ This strategy will work for a short while but unfortunately as humans we are wired NOT be able to deceive our subconscious.
Steering away from what is our authentic self will ultimately lead to chronic anxiety. As a result those around us will perceive us an imposter as the inevitable failings in our behaviours manifest themselves.
No one wants to work or hang out with a phoney, we naturally gravitate towards people we perceive as being genuine, it is no different for our customers. Authentic people are deemed trustworthy, so no doubt are more likely to build successful relationships and succeed in business. Authenticity is amorphous because each of us perceives it differently, nevertheless we are all drawn to certain traits that authentic individuals harness.
So, what traits does a genuinely authentic individual demonstrate?
There is no strict definitive list, however one of the key traits would have to be self-esteem, at the right balance. Too much self-esteem and we hit ugly narcissism, too little is not good either (we need to be able to take a compliment and dole them out without being phased). The Goldilocks range in middle is ideal. The right amount of self-esteem means we are not fearful of expressing ourselves and beliefs (whether or not considered an extrovert or introvert). We are comfortable in discussing our failings and do not fear criticism.
Studies have suggested that genuine individuals listen to their inner voice, they are comfortable disseminating and interrogating their own actions, learning from them and considering ways to improve. They are not burdened with agendas and baggage – which has a positive impact when they interact with others – and they listen intently (so, less likely to be checking their smartphones every few minutes)! They will not deliver advice that they do not believe in or would engage themselves. They take care not to affect others negatively if it can be helped however they are not greatly concerned with what other people think of them. I guess you could say they walk to their own beat.
So, to conclude, there is a direct correlation in being genuinely authentic and success. I am not suggesting that in order to achieve authenticity and be a success you need to purge your online personal brand of any posed selfies or start mounting a propaganda campaign promoting your humanitarian good self….!
Not at all.
In fact I’m suggesting quite the opposite: immerse yourself in the world you live in, accept who you are – the good, bad and the ugly. Being authentic is a continuous process and not an individual event, in order to harmonise our inner and outer lives we need to be proactive and not wait for someone to give us permission to be ourselves.
“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.” – Steve Maraboli (best-selling author)