What’s the Big Deal About Authenticity, Anyway?

Over on the Podcast authenticity is a topic Kelly and I are going to be tackling in the business world. People get it there – we want to buy from companies who feel genuine and authentic, we want to be able to trust the people for whom we work and we want to feel like we’re doing some good in the world.

But what about personal authenticity? Is it really a big deal?

First, let’s start by figuring out what the heck authenticity even is. In my book, authenticity means that you’re able to appropriately express yourself to those around you and are comfortable doing so. Basically, your thoughts and actions align and you display them in an appropriate way.

Just like in the business world, when it comes to personal authenticity, people want to feel you’re genuine & authentic and want to associate with and trust you.

But what’s the big deal if you’re inauthentic? Does it really matter?

In my book it does…and it’s about more than how other people perceive you.

When we’re constantly pushing down our true thoughts, feelings and opinions, it has some pretty gnarly side effects. It’s a great way to feel constantly dissatisfied with every area of your life and is definitely a strong contributing factor to high stress.

So, what’s the solution? Go around telling everyone what you think all the time no matter what? Nope, we don’t have to go quite that far – that can definitely be an unkind solution! The solution is to seek out ways to weave authenticity into daily life.

Here’s what that can look like:

  • When your kids notice that you’re not super excited to do something, instead of trying to convince them that you are, share the reason behind why you choose to do it even though you don’t love it.
  • When you’re cranky at work because of new rules or leadership, consider talking to a peer or your manager instead of trying to pretend everything is OK.
  • Don’t force yourself to constantly smile or be perky if you’re feeling sad. You get to have an off day and be quieter than usual.

Authenticity is kind of a big deal, especially when you try to ignore it. That’s a recipe for dissatisfaction and stress. If either of those things describe the way you’ve been feeling, start looking for ways to show up a little more authentically.

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