Has authenticity become a buzz word?
Everywhere I look, everyone seems to be using it.
Everyone seems to be saying people need to become authentic.
Such a huge generalization, I know!
But here’s what I reckon.
We already are authentic!
Authentic means ‘of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine’
We were born authentic and we will die authentic.
Or, in Aussie terms, that translates to dinky di, fairdinkum. or true blue.
So how can we NOT be authentic?
It’s paradoxical. On one hand is authenticity and on the other hand is inauthenticity.
But here’s the thing – I don’t think the conversation is about being authentic or having authenticity.
I reckon it is recognising inauthenticity and becoming less inauthentic.
A double negative? Maybe!
I mean, inauthenticity is one of the 30,000 most commonly used words in the Collins dictionary and as a word, over the past 300 years, its popularity peaked in 2005 – the year Tony Blair was re-elected, Charles married Camilla and Lance Armstrong won a record seventh straight Tours de France!!
I do think it’s recognising what each of our personal strategies are around being inauthentic. Knowing when you are, why you are and how you are.
It’s cool when you bring some maths into it. I share in my ‘Growth Grid’ model where we are always trying to ‘add’ stuff to our lives – do more, have more, be more.
To keep up with the Jones’s, to prove our worthiness, to hide our lack of experience… millions of reasons. And we’ve all done it and we will continue to do it.
Simply, because we are human.
But what if ‘doing more to look good to those around us, having more to prove something to those around us and pretending to be more so as not be seen as less than to those around us’ is actually stacking stuff on top and smothering all that goodness of who we are at our core.
Authentic human beings who are perfectly imperfect.
Just like these Cadillacs at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo that I walked around recently! They don’t look like vehicles that are touted as the ‘most expensive and top of the luxury field’. They are inches thick in paint and crap and stuff, but underneath?? They are genuine, authentic Cadillacs!
So perhaps we need to start ‘subtracting’, ‘dividing’ and ‘sharing’ that stuff. Removing stuff, for example, to show the world our natural authenticity – in all its flawed glory.
So, who are we to say someone is fake?
To say someone needs to ‘get more real’?
To say someone is not already who they are?
Can anyone REALLY make that call on behalf of someone else?
If so, then who do they think they are?
To say someone must become authentic is to presuppose that they are not.
And we are.
So perhaps it’s not really about being authentic.
Perhaps it’s really about acceptance.
Perhaps it’s even deeper than that.
Perhaps it’s about us accepting ourselves!
Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant.
Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.
BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.
Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.
Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.
Image courtesy of my camera: Cadillac Farm, Amarillo, Texas, 2019