If you know me, then you know I take being authentic very seriously. In my free time, you may even find me reading studies about authenticity. Seriously, it’s true.
Recently I came upon a body of research that looks at how authenticity is a state, not a trait. This is meaningful because if it’s not a trait, then you aren’t born with it—or not. Rather it’s a state of being like happiness, contentment or relaxation. Which means it’s under your influence.
Like any state of being it can be cultivated, practiced, and gets easier the more you do it. Being a state makes it neuro-pathway related. Meaning that you can rewire your brain to prefer the routes that are authentically you. In a simplistic way of understanding it, the deeper you make the neuro grooves, the easier it is to fall in them.
This can lead to a whole new way of moving through your workweek.
Goodbye imposter feelings, hello real you. See ya later to being all things to all people as you share honestly what you can and can’t do. Sayonara to acting like you think you “should” and konnichiwa to “what’s genuine for me right now?”
With time, active attention, and a willingness to try on new behaviors, authenticity can become your go-to state of being. Your authentic nature can shine through not in rare moments, but in most moments.
I know this firsthand for myself and have seen many of my clients do it, too.
It wasn’t always so. Like many good little girls, I grew up in a home with parents who let’s say, had firm opinions about most topics in the world, and these often differed vastly from mine. Toss in some family “holisms”—as in workaholism and alcoholism—along with the culture of my home state Michigan and my attempts to be authentically me were met with a lot of disapproval.
This put me in a quandary because as I write about in my book The Authentic Marketer, the need to belong drives us to behave in ways to fit in. Goodbye, authentic Linda…hello quiet-don’t-be-noticed-or-give-anyone-any-trouble-little-girl.
Can you relate?
Fast forward several years and I’ve moved to the Bay Area where I begin my quest to uncover the real Linda. Over the years since then, I've gathered many tools and practical ways to uncover my authenticity. And along the way, I found her.
Turns out that she is NOT quiet, loves to be noticed and gives people ALL kinds of trouble (when it’s needed!!) My values and how I express them are exactly opposite to half of my home state. What I’ve built my life on as an adult is different than what the norms of my early life culture told me to be.
But my life is all me. And what's even better? It's a big ole 9 on a scale of 1-10. This means I'm finally living the life I've dreamt about for all these years. Is it perfect? Haha, nope but it's pretty much everything that I've wanted...though I am actively working toward that 10 outta 10, just sayin'. Even though it’s taken a while and quite a lot of work, overall I feel like I’m crushing it.
And it’s not just inside that I feel good.
I’m often told by others that my being genuine is inspiring. My clients often sigh with relief at how much permission I create for business growth in their unique way. And I can even have a conversation with my family where I’m authentic in my opinions!! Lol, that last one took the longest.
You are invited to step deeper into your authenticity this year. What would life be like if one year from now you were more of YOU and living life on your terms? What would be different in your life, your business and your community?
Believe me, it’s worth taking a look at. I know we are living in some crazy times these days and it can be a little overwhelming. But I also know that you will be your most resourceful, responsive and capable when you are fully showing up as the real you.
So how about it, wanna join me in doing this year authentically? I hope you do!! And I can’t wait to meet more of the real you.
Linda believes that small business owners can step into a better version of their business when they embrace authenticity and become more fully themselves. Her 25-year marketing career has included Kimpton Hotels, Jamba Juice, and Disney helping her clients win awards and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, as well as on the front cover of WIRED magazine. You can visit her website here: lindabasso.com or join her FB conversation.