A tweet yesterday morning on Twitter caught my attention. It was:
“If you have a horrible sinus infection & would rather be dead: NONETHELESS GO TO WORK WITH A HEARTY DEMEANOR.
Fake it! Screw ‘authenticity’.”
I couldn’t resist responding. That tweet was an example of — what I believe is — an incorrect understanding of authenticity; in this case, that to show up authentically would be to let everyone know how lousy you feel. One might more accurately say that is “transparency,” though I also don’t think it is the time and place for that, either.
In my opinion, showing up authentically means doing your very best despite how lousy you feel. Authenticity certainly doesn’t mean giving into your problems or challenges. And, it doesn’t mean that — other than in communicating with someone who needs to know how you’re feeling — that you need to bend over backwards in order to be transparent, either.
Authenticity means being yourself. It doesn’t mean you allow that which you feel at the moment to control you; as though if you were to “go to work with a hearty demeanor” — as the tweeter suggested doing — that would somehow make you less authentic.
Like the person who is scared to do something, but does it anyway, you are are not avoiding your authentic nature; rather you are boldly stepping into it.
Take, for instance, the person who says, “I have anger issues, I scream and yell at people, that’s just the way I am and to be otherwise would not be authentic.” That’s baloney! True authenticity would be the person understanding that they have an issue, they need to work on it, improve themselves, and evolve into a higher, more effective authentic self.
As human beings, we can work on our traits long-term. And, we can act our way into feeling the way we desire to feel short-term. And, we can even put aside our immediate challenges such as the sinus infection the tweeter apparently had and go into work and do the job we’re supposed to do, good attitude and all…without that being inauthentic.
So, two thoughts, if I may. One, let’s not confuse authenticity with being a slave to our present feelings. And, two, let’s utilize our authentic selves in order to propel us to our next highest level; not keep us where we are.
And, if you have a bad back and someone other than your doctor asks, “how are you?”… it’s absolutely okay to say, “Grrreat, thanks!” 🙂
Do I have this right or wrong? What are your thoughts?