As I sat down to write today, I had no idea what I was going to write about. I had some ideas but nothing really seemed to hit home. I perused my “blog drafts” folder (where I keep notes on various topics) but nothing of interest jumped out at me.
Looking for some inspiration I clicked on my iTunes and decided on The Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen. As long as I can remember, I have been a Springsteen fan. It always seems to me that he writes from the heart and his songs strike me as real and authentic.
The song Better Days comes on with the verse, “it’s a sad man my friend, who’s living in his own skin, and can’t stand the company”. It got me thinking about authenticity and how all to often people go through life pretending to be something their not.
It seems that most people, consciously or unconsciously, spend much of their lives trying to be a fictionalized version of themselves. They are more interested in being liked, impressing people, and wanting to look good, than in being who they really are.
Most of us have gone through times like this, at some time or another. Whether it was being the new kid at school, new to the neighborhood, or starting at the new job, Instead of behaving in a genuine way, we tell people what we think they want to hear, and act in ways that go against our true nature. We all want to feel and appear smart. We all want to be accepted and well liked. But to pretend that you are someone you’re not is no way to go through life. Besides, people can forgive a lot of sins but they can’t stand a phony.
Authenticity is about trusting yourself and embracing your uniqueness. Different people have different views about authenticity but put simply, it means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, no matter what situation you’re in and regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise.
Are you true to your personality and values? Are you the real deal?
Jeffrey Gitomer in his weekly column, recently wrote. . .”if you’re authentic, you don’t have to say it, or prove it. It shows and it speaks for itself. The most powerful part of authenticity is that, if done properly, it’s unspoken”
He went on to say, “You have everything to gain and little to lose by being authentic. It is a state of mind. It is a clear signal to your prospect or person you are talking to with, “This is who I am. This is real. I’m not hiding anything.”
Bottom line, all of the sales strategies in the world won’t help you if you are not a genuinely authentic. People like what is real and they trust it instinctively. Your customer knows when you are faking it. Your customer knows who really cares about them and their needs. Be your unique self and your customer will gravitate to you and trust you.
When I was young, my mother told me that the world would be pretty boring if everyone was the same, embrace your uniqueness, be as good as you can be, but no matter what, be yourself! Good advice don’t you think?
How’s your quest for authenticity? Do you embrace your uniqueness?
Categories: Views / Opinions
Reblogged this on No room for regrets and commented:
Some great thoughts from Bruce here
First of all . . . This is a great post Bruce!
There are many people in this world who love to critique our style, tell us how to talk, how to act, how to sell when it really isn’t their decision. Their motives are usually questionable but that’s another topic altogether.
I actually worked with a group of people like this earlier in my career and I let them get to me until one day, I found my balls and told them all to kiss off.
Be yourself . . . YOU are the only one who can do that and besides . . . sooner or later, the world will see us for who really are anyway . . . why not show them that upfront?
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be mindful of offending others . . . it just means that we all should get over ourselves and get on with the business of being who we really are.
Paul, Thank you so very much for your comments. There is a time to be the real you and a time to be “politically correct” but at the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. Keep it real my friend 🙂