For as long as I can remember, schools and businesses have told us to conform. We’ve been asked to mask our individual personalities and be reflections of that school or company’s values. The inauthentic world has been telling us it is unsafe to be real. Now, in today’s age, we are being encouraged to be ourselves, after years of being told not to be.
Why Being Genuine Matters In order to get past all of that, let’s look at why it is essential to be genuine. The simple answer: it is a key part of developing trust and building relationships with others or clients or a community. Relationships are based on trust. This trust is developed through:
· your enthusiasm about what you do and who you are;
· if you are reliable through your actions;
· if your actions take into consideration the best interests of others; and
· your belief in what you are selling (all of us are selling something).
And when you are genuine, you will experience the following benefits of being human, such as:
· inner peace and
· unconditional love.
A Word of Caution
In today’s world, however, there is one caveat to all of this. Don’t confuse being genuine with your appearance. For instance, if you are searching for a job, it is critical that you do match yourself to the job and the company you are seeking. This is essential in the way you dress, your hair, personal hygiene, your style and personality. If you don’t appear to fit into a company environment, you won’t get the job. If you are radically different from the environment in which you are interviewing, consider that it is the wrong place for you. Determine to match yourself to a job environment for which you are suited. Once you have the job, being genuine will help you build relationships.
How to Recognize Who You Truly Are
For some of you, being genuine is no problem at all. For others this seemingly simple idea is much harder. For those people, I have borrowed, from Jason Teitelman, an editor and blogger, a simple, two-step exercise aimed at putting you back in touch with your genuine self. Write 10 statements about yourself you know are true. These could be beliefs by which you live your life or simply things that you do every day. Here are mine:
1. I believe I was born to write for myself and others.
2. I love all animals, and am passionate about my work with dog rescue.
3. I value making logical decisions.
4. I am totally devoted to becoming a better dressage competitor.
5. I like causal clothes more than dressing up.
6. I truly love my friends and family.
7. I love and enjoy the companionship of my dogs, Neo and Thor, and my horse, Aramis.
8. I like to help and advise other people.
9. I survived an abusive marriage, where I was physically and emotionally misused.
10. I am happiest when I am riding or writing.
These are not to be shared with others, but only for your own use. I only share mine with you because I want to be genuine. After you have your ten statements, print them out and hang them in a place where they’re visible while you’re working. When you are working, take a look at your 10 statements and ask yourself if what you’re about to share genuinely reflects who you are.
Are there dangers in being genuine? Yes! It makes you vulnerable. It makes you open to others. But is that a bad thing? No. Be open to what life brings to you. Never close yourself off. People love others who are friendly, sociable, honest, trustworthy and real. And that spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S.
Til Next Time,