Being authentic is a really big deal these days. From ethnic foods to churches and pastors, it all better be authentic. And I think that’s a really good thing.
What amazes me is how many people and leaders think they can get away with the alternative – presenting a fake version of yourself. There’s something in us that leads us to think people will like us better, respect us more and follow us more confidently if we invent some fictitious version of ourselves. So we design “Super Me” and then do our best to pretend we’re that person -no struggles, no faults, no temptations. We make it look like life is one non stop festival of perfectly Instagram-able moments.
And the funniest part is we think people are buying it!
Let me freak you out and free you up in the same moment. No one is buying the act! We can tell when you aren’t telling the whole truth. We can tell when you think someone’s idea is stupid. We know when you don’t like people. We know when you would rather be somewhere else. We know when you find someone boring. We know!
But freeing. Because if the act isn’t working, there’s no good reason to keep it up. What do we have to gain by lashing ourselves to futility? Instead let’s be honest. Let’s be real. Let’s tell people what’s really going on. Let’s say what’s on our minds (without being rude) or at least stay quiet. Let’s relate to people. Let’s be genuine.
I don’t think our problem with authenticity is that we don’t know how to do it. I think we’re either afraid or arrogantly believing people are buying our act. They aren’t. Just be real.