Authors Kimberly Layne, Twiana Armstrong and I share our journeys and provide tips about how we show up as our authentic selves.
Find more about Kimberly and Twiana here:
Kimberly Layne: https://www.kimberly-layne.com/
Twiana Armstrong: https://linkedin.com/in/twianaarmstrong
#AuthenticSelf #Authenticity #TrueSelf #Roaring2020s
Showing up as your authentic self requires building a mental muscle that draws upon journeying from self-awareness to self-actualization. When we show up as your authentic self you are more confident, more creative and forge a life that we design. Showing up authentically focuses on recognizing and acknowledging our identities. Identities such as age, gender, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality – some identities that are easily seen and some that are internalized, not as easily to see, maybe education status or socioeconomic status. All of which affect our feeling of being accepted and belonging. My identity of living and practicing DEI&B, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is forged by a racial incident my daughter experienced as a high school student. The incident left her shattered. It was then that I understood my assignment to educate, illuminate and facilitate a thriving community built on acceptance and belonging. My leadership practice is built on a foundation of being self-aware ensuring leaders show up authentically. Leaders, are you showing up authentically? Are you creating a culture that promotes authentic engagements? Do team members feel accepted in all of their identities? Acceptance opens the door encouraging feelings of belonging. Team members who know they can show authentically are much more productive.
Twiana, thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal story around authenticity.
What does it take to be it and live in authenticity?
Authenticity to me means three things (1) self-awareness, (2) transparency, (3) and vulnerability.
In an effort for me to be more authentic, I realized that I need those around me to be more authentic. When a peer made a comment about my last speaking engagement, it upset me, made me sick to my stomach, and made me want to run to a safer place. However, choosing not to tell them how I felt, would be in authentic and would go against my recent Positive Intelligence training.
. Instead, I shared with them that their comment made me feel judged, and that I felt like an imposter. , I had recognized that my Queen Judge, and my Queen High Achiever (names I had given my saboteurs from my PQ training) were in the room . My steps to being self-aware, in sharing how it made me feel —was me being transparent and vulnerable in sharing that with my peer.
They stated their question was more of intrigue and curiosity, as they had never considered my way of solving the problem. (They were sharing their transparency and authenticity)
In us both being authentic, the conversation took an entirely different path than a path of hurt and defensiveness. And a more positive one.
To understand what it means to show up as your authentic self, I encourage people to think about a Venn diagram where there are four circles, encompassing the four elements of purpose, values, gifts, and passions.
To show up as your authentic self, you want to live at the intersection of these four circles.
Let me give you an example.
Early in my career, I felt like my main purpose was to take care of my young family and help them thrive. My gifts included a talent for math, science and engineering. My values instructed me where to focus my career: I steered away from the defense industry and toward the telecom industry. And, my passion was to make radios. I love making radios, so much so that it doesn’t even feel like “work” to me.
Remember: your purpose, values, gifts and passions will change over time, so it’s good to periodically check in with yourself to make sure you are living at that intersection of your Venn diagram. For instance, mid-career I realized the importance of teamwork and became passionate about creating effective teams. That led me to study the Enneagram which furthered my understanding of my own personal gifts. My values instructed me to share everything I learned about teamwork with the world, and that inspired my passion to write my book Teamwork 9.0.
If you live at the intersection of your Purpose, Values, Gifts and Passions then I believe you are showing up as your authentic self.