Authenticity has been a major buzzword for the past few years. In business and in personal life, authenticity is a popular and desirable trait to possess. But why? What is the value of authenticity?
If you aren’t honest with your friends how can you test their loyalty? You can’t allow your nearest to really participate fully in your being, in who you are; to weave the fabric of THEMSELVES into the weaviness of who you are. If you can’t share your true self, your true being, your true needs, your true strengths…these parts of yourself… if you can’t share your fears…if you can’t allow people to know who you really are, You deny them the opportunity to participate in who you are and who you become. And, as a result, they have a harder time getting where they are going as well. “
You tell me who and what you are and how you work. If it works with who and what I am then I will stay. If not, I can carry on. What is the source of the pain that prevents us from simply sharing our true needs? We hate to see someone we are fond of go. We feel rejected, sad, lonely. It didn’t work out as we’d hoped, and now we are lonely, time and space seem eternal and empty. Let’s take a more relaxed attitude. And recognize that everything is working out perfectly.
We are all a bunch of parts of the universe and we are all trying to get somewhere.
So…imagine if all the parts of the universe lied to each other…
What if the other person in question (the person with whom you must be authentic) is your mom and you don’t want to hurt her feelings? Maybe you just left the nest and you know your mom is still adjusting to you being on your own and her limited access to her only child? You might say to your mother: “I need you to contact me before you show up at my door mom because it is important for my evolution”. If you told her that, she might support you, and this too is sometimes why we hide. Fear of success is another topic we can review later.
Your selfless concern about hurting your mom’s feelings might make it a bit more difficult to communicate your boundaries to her. But what is the alternative? The alternative is to not tell her, maybe spare her feelings, though you really don’t know how she would feel about your boundary, you are just making assumptions about how she might feel without actually giving her an opportunity to feel any way at all. Now you’ll be annoyed and irritable every time she shows up. She is likely to notice the undercurrent of irritability in you when she shows up, and since you have not told her what is bothering you, she is free to guess.
She may think: “He’s so irritable every time I go over there, I wonder what I did to upset him. I wonder if he is having trouble at school. I hope he’s not using drugs”. By attempting to spare your mom’s feelings (or more accurately, spare yourself from your own feelings of fear about how she might feel), you’ve spared nobody. Now your mother is worried about possibilities rather than facts.
The value of authenticity is that it removes opportunities for others to make incorrect assumptions about what we want or need as well as who we are. This is important if we want to get our needs or desires met. It also allows others to feel a sense of trust in a relationship with us and at the very least prevents others from wasting time trying to get from us things we are not suited to give or don’t offer.
What examples of the value of authenticity can you think of? What successes or challenges have you experienced when bringing your authentic self to the table? Share your ideas about the value of authenticity in the comments section below.