April 24, 2010


Authenticity is a desireable state of being.  Most people can sense at some level if what they are experiencing of you is authentic.  Some people have very keen spidey sense for it.  Authenticity is attractive.  It creates trust.  It creates respect; people who are willing to be in their own skin are worthy of respect.  Many of us wish for the ability to be authentically ourselves, at all times and in all circumstances.
The easiest situations to bring your authentic self to are when you are comfortable.  Situations where you know the topic, or the people, or the skill well.  It requires more courage to be authentic when you pushing the limits of what is comfortable for you.  It seems to me, using my favourite model for learning from Maslow (which I have taken some liberties with below), that the greatest challenge for being authentic lies in the zones from Conscious Incompetence to Conscious Competence.  

In those zones, you are pushing yourself.  You are required to stretch.  Quite often there is fear:  of making mistakes, of appearing incompetent, of being judged. 
There is the temptation to pretend.  Don't.  It's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to not always know what you are doing.  People respect you for your efforts and your courage, when you are bringing your authentic self along with you. 

"The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is." John Lancaster Spalding

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