To be authentic is to be yourself. Great advice, but that’s not always easy to wrap your arms around in practical terms.
To be authentic is to be fully expressed as who you are, not who you wish you were, or who you think others expect you to be. That always comes with some risk that other people will judge you for who you are, what you think, or what you feel. Hence…
To be authentic is to be vulnerable. The word vulnerable implies weakness for many people, but in fact, to be vulnerable in this way requires strength and courage.
To be authentic is to be seen. It means accepting who you are in this moment – how you feel, what you think, and what you’re doing – and not trying to hide any of it.
To be authentic is to define and manage your boundaries in a way that honors what you value and respects your right to choose who and what passes through those boundaries.
To be authentic is liberating because it frees you from the oppressive need to manage what other people think. You can care about what people think without needing them to think of you in a certain way.
To be authentic is to be a great leader, because it is inspiring and empowering for those around you.
To be authentic is to take off the armor you’ve built up to protect yourself against social and emotional discomfort.
To be authentic is to take off the mask.
This post is inspired by the third chapter (“Take Off the Mask”) in my book, Corporate Life Is Hell: How to Liberate the Leader Within You and Be Happy in Your Career.