Resilience In Leadership: Authenticity

Your authentic self should drive all your actions.

What exactly is your authentic self? It’s based on your goals (both personal and professional), your values (your beliefs), and your morals (your guide to take action based on your values). When you align your goals, values, and morals you are acting authentic to yourself.

You are who you are, and although you will learn, grow, and change, you have a core foundation of your values and morals. When you act against them you require your brain to create fiction. It’s like telling an impromptu story, it can be difficult… and very difficult to sustain. When you’re being authentic to yourself your actions come with ease, you feel at peace with your actions and their consequences, your mind is open to be creative and innovative, you’re open to learning and observation.

When you’re not authentic you create a habit of lying, to yourself and others. Your brain works to create and remember the fiction, while your biology pushes against it thus causing stress, frustration, dissatisfaction, malcontent, and stagnation. Your brain and biochemistry are structured in a way to learn and absorb best under two conditions:

  • You’ve habitualized. Everything you do becomes a habit. This is a human species way of staying safe… habiltualize your surroundings and things you do daily in order to maintain the ability to quickly assess a threat. Lucky for us, most don’t encounter life-threating opportunities every day, but our biology hasn’t adapted to our more modern sociological and cultural growth. Since everything you do will be habitualized, I recommend you choose your actions with purpose. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to become a habit. There is no such thing as “breaking a bad habit”, one must create a new response to the external stimulus in order to create a new habit. Use this as a tool to create new and automated ways your brain and body respond to external stimulus. Use Absorb and Reflect to decide what action you want to take. Respond with purpose and choose responses based on your goals.
  • You’ve trained your brain to stay open. Knowing the above, you’re using tools to train your brain to be more open, absorb more, and utilize both conscious and subconscious thought. You’re taking control on what you feed your brain, how it thinks, and what it chooses to respond to. This more active process builds resilience and helps support authenticity.

You may or may not be aware of how authentic to yourself you really are. You may even feel as if you’re being “true to yourself”. Use these questions to help you align the truth:

  • Are you open-minded and growing versus easily frustrated?
  • Do you find solutions quickly versus finding problems?
  • Do you experience joy and peace in almost everything you do?
  • Do you “get over things” easily and continue to move towards your goals?
  • Do you understand and embrace conflict?
  • Are you comfortable with your feelings and emotions?
  • Do you have clearly defined goals in both your personal and professional life?
  • Do you communicate with thought and purpose?

If you’ve answered YES to all of these you’re living an authentic life. If not, you’ve got room to grow. Authenticity is the foundation on which your entire life is built. Ensure it’s strong.

  • Figure out your values and morals. What do you believe in passionately? What’s important to you? How do you define good or bad? What do you like and dislike? How do you experience joy, peace, and contentment? What makes you happy and alive? What do you do to enliven your values and morals?
  • Create some goals. Think about what you want your life to look like in five years if you have no constraints (none, not a single constraint). Then break it down in what that might look like every year. Then what you’ll do these next twelve months to move forward.
  • Ensure every single thing you do is aligned with your values, morals, and in furtherance of your goals. Everything.

This is you being authentic. It’s not easy, but it’s immensely satisfying. You’ll be happy, healthy, and successful.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me. And, if you’re interested in working with me, check out my coaching program.

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