At a time when everyone wants to end up being someone, the real secret is embedded in a very simple fact- that is of staying authentic- staying and being who you are and who you are comfortable being! Join me here as we explore, what does it take to stay authentic and how does this small shift alter the entire narrative of your purpose enriching it with greater value, depth and direction.
Irrespective of where we are and what part of the social fabric we contribute to, the singular fact remains, that each one of us is Influenced- by someone or the other- now there is nothing to be judgmental or prejudiced about being influenced. Since the dawn of civilizations, humans have been long programmed to seek- leaders and have been benefited by able leaders and have been broken by terrible ones’ and these erstwhile experiences have gone a long way to create the different societies as we witness them around us today! It is these Influences that we receive, which further go on to create an ability within a few of us from the society to continue that Influence- which could be pertaining to an ideology, a belief system or simply an agreed framework of how the society would like to function.
The whole issue with this whole process of Influencing and being Influenced, leaving aside the context and the content what is being shared deals with the subtle aspect of altering the real essence of personalities as who they are and who they should be- unless people are careful- you will witness that Influencer’s and those being Influenced tend to rapidly loose a vital connect with themselves and thereby begin to wear off the charm of who they really are and begin to assume imagery which is nothing close to who they are and what that ends up doing is, you have an entire social fabric that is made of mirrored, fabricated and shallow personalities and ideas. This unwanted outcome of Influence comes to exist, once the true self- the authentic self- is lost- both from the side of the person who is the Influencer and also the audience who are being influenced.
If you were to analyse the global horizon for great Leaders and great Influencer’s , you will see one commonality- As long as Leaders or People of Influence tend to stay true to who they are and share that truth with the audiences that they connect- they are not only effective, impactful and motivational but they also empower their audiences as well to be the same and thereby urging them to, embrace their truth and rise and live by it even as they overcome the challenges that they may be facing at their levels! This is the real essence of Authentic Leadership- or should I say, Leading by staying Authentic! It is only when Leaders lead from this intensely private space, which brings forth who they are their personalities, their vulnerabilities that, they gain the trust and connect which is so vital to lead and influence- this is one way of the leader saying, “This is Who I am and this is where I want to take you along, this is how we are going to get there- Are you coming along?”
When leaders fail to create this foundation of authenticity as they lead or engage, they end up adding veils and layers to their leadership- the whole value around it and the process around it- this goes on to create pseudo value systems and as opacity ensues, one can then witness the rapidly diminishing connect between the leader and the community. The question you may ask, what is so difficult about staying authentic, sound simple? The fact is, there can be nothing more difficult than doing that! Let me explain!
Staying authentic, or bringing authenticity- to the forefront requires more courage than one can imagine, because in this space, whether you are a leader, a follower or a leader in the making- you need some real divine courage to accept – firstly who you are (that calls for some insane levels of self-awareness) and next being able to share that with the community that you are part of – the society, the nation or whatever that group may be! This style of leadership by being authentic, exposing your vulnerabilities is a potent tool to connect, engage and empower everyone around in perhaps the fastest way- the only catch being that you mus be dead sure that the audience or the contextual settings are what they seem to be and aren’t a trojan horse designed to defeat you! How does being authentic help? Read on!
Once you have this incredible sell-awareness about who you are and once you have found out the purpose and how you are going to approach, what remains is merely knowing what serves you and what doesn’t! What serves your cause, your journey and what doesn’t- for all that aligns alongside you empowers you and all that creates a blockade- saps you of that vital energy that you need so badly to keep going to achieve the purpose that you have set out for – not only because you want it- but because the whole process and the journey is nothing more but the personification of your authentic self- and your existence. Anything ambiguous here, will end up creating fogs of doubt, defeating your purpose and also of those who rally around you!
Embracing Authenticity is perhaps the easiest way to let the world know that you are connected within, you know your stuff and hence you are in a better position to tell others how to find their stuff, as you have already done that journey! Authenticity provides adequate empowerment for an individual to have a voice, share, lead or follow, no matter what is the choice made, as long as an authentic approach is applied every role taken up seems to align with the purpose and direction of serving and achieving the greater good for all of those who have embarked upon the journey!
Being authentic, is saying no to a lot of things around and agreeing to a few, because as unique as we are, should we want to hold on to our valid authenticity, it only suggests that there would be few and far in between possibilities to experience the same around us! The journey surely calls for a lot of turbulence within and externally for not everyone will be pleased and neither will everyone be dejected!
The essence of applying authenticity lies in the fact that, through self-awareness, knowing oneself, being true to who you are and the purpose that drives you, can you influence, collaborate, share or follow and navigate across the social fabric around you urging every member to be who they are! Progressive societies are all but a collection of authentic Individuals who have connected and engaged themselves with each other for a common purpose that achieves some greater good for each member of the society even as they retain their authentic self and touch their individual aspirations as they accomplish the larger goals!
I leave you here, with these thoughts for now, urging you to seek your authenticity lever and use that as a pivot to empower yourself and the society around you! Societies that are united even through the diversity experienced by virtue of the authentic constituents thrive and progress each time and every time!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article! Until then stay wise, stay safe and stay authentic!