Have you met people in your life who seem to change their behavior and personality depending on who they’re with and the situation they’re in?
Maybe they’re pushy and overbearing in meetings, or sarcastic, making undermining comments while socializing. Then they act insecure and approval seeking with their wife or partner.
You could be having what you think is a normal conversation with someone. Then they suddenly change posture, tone of voice, and vocabulary the moment someone else joins in.
I have to be honest and admit I have been that person in the past… I expect you have too?!
We all find ourselves in situations that we find uncomfortable and challenging. Where we’re so unsure that we’re “good enough” that we behave in a way that we think others will like instead of being who we really are. Usually this is based on a fear of rejection.
Now, adapting to a situation is a good thing in many ways, being unauthentic certainly isn’t.
What’s more, other people can usually tell. And that’s a real turnoff…
Think about it, what are some of the words used to describe this kind of behavior?
None of those are nice sounding – certainly not how you’d like to be described, is it?
Authenticity is much more attractive. We prefer to be around people who make us feel comfortable, safe, and respected.
Here are four techniques to assist you in being your authentic self most of the time:
Positively Self Aware
The path to self-improvement starts with looking at yourself. As you go through your day think about how you feel when you meet new people, interact with co-workers, and engage with people at different levels in your organization.
When do you feel most comfortable? Do you sometimes feel yourself writhing in someone else’s skin.
By learning to be more observant and self-aware you’ll recognize when you’re uncomfortable. And just as importantly, why you are feeling discomfort, leading yourself to puposefully revert to your authentic self.
Look For Genuine Connections
Being human means we all have something in common.
Work on understanding the people around you.
Be interested by asking thoughtful questions, then listen carefully to their responses.
When you develop a genuine understanding of someone it connects you to the people you are with.
That results in you being more likely to feel genuine and authentic yourself.
No Such Thing As Perfect
Perfect is impossible!
That means that if you try to act perfectly, you are already being false and unauthentic.
Dare to be a bit vulnerable and embrace your imperfection.
You’ll be amazed at how far a little vulnerability can take you.
Present In The Moment
Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation and your mind wanders?
Are you trying to think of a clever answer, the list of things you need at the store, or your deadlines to meet before you head home for the evening?
And, once the other person finishes their thought, you jump back in with your perfect put-down?
Okay, that person had no idea what was actually going on in your head. But we humans are very good at sensing when someone else isn’t focused or present.
This is where you can work on being an active listener and give people your full attention.
That way you’ll be more present in your relationships.
Becoming a master of the art of presence is probably the most effective method of ensuring authenticity in any situation.