2-½ minutes to read
Authenticity is the rage in personal development. Everywhere you turn writers (me included) encourage you to be genuine. With so many exhortations you would think everybody goes around wearing masks and deceiving other people. The constraints have been lifted. Be brutally honest. Remember your authenticity is at stake. You don’t want to commit the sin of phoniness!
Act How You Feel
If you’re mad at a coworker, rip him with profanity. If your kid irritates you for the hundredth time, scream at her to stop. Spew invective on Facebook. Tweet 140 character assaults. Being authentic means you can say and do whatever you want without penalty.
Or does it?
What will happen to your job if you give a colleague a verbal dressing down? Gone, right?
How will you child respond to your bellowing? Alienation?
Why would someone hire you when your social media attacks people and ideas they may agree with?
Do you want to be an unemployed misanthrope?
Perhaps you’ll have to refrain from expressing brutally honest emotions. After all, we teach children to stop throwing temper tantrums. Oh well, it’s only a small compromise of your authenticity.
Who You Are Going to Be
You’re probably frustrated about not having something in your life. Maybe it’s more money or a solid marriage. It could be the time and resources to travel or pursue a hobby you love. Will being brutally honest do anything to get you what you lack?
Is your deepest need to express yourself uninhibitedly? You’ll never get to without suffering consequences.
Or is your frustration actually about something else? If this is the case, being brutally honest with people will make it even more difficult to get what you want since the only way to fill your needs is by helping others fill theirs.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can mistreat people under the guise of being authentic. Genuineness comes from behaving in a way that fulfills your deepest aspirations. Indulging the childish side of your nature bespeaks immaturity. Staying true to the best image you have for yourself is true authenticity.
Venting your frustration, verbally or through social media, may make you feel good. But it’s only authentic if your goal in life is to alienate as many people as possible. You know from your own experience, the success you’ve had thus far in life has come from cordial interactions with others.
So stop lying to yourself that being brutally honest expresses the true you. Let your actual authenticity shine through in being the person you wish to be.
How do you stay focused on being your ideal person? Please comment below.