How tired are you of being told to “just be authentic”?
The whole “authenticity” thing has become pretty repetitive (and annoying)
You could turn it into a game with your Instagram feed. Every post you see asking you to be authentic, take a vitamin C shot.
On second thought, don’t play that game. You may not recover.
Joking aside, there’s a reason it won’t go away.
I think the internet, in some sense, made it incredibly difficult to be authentic.
It’s all too easy to curate a specific persona online, isn’t it? The result is you almost lose touch with who you are.
I think, to some extent, we’re all guilty of this.
You’re put in a position where you pick and choose the parts of your identity you’ll share online.
In other words, you set out to curate “perfection” -- you purposely intend to position yourself in a specific way, for reasons that may be very personal to you.
But, as humans, we weren’t designed to operate with parts of ourselves in the shadows.
So why do we do this?
Because we don’t want to be judged.
We’re afraid we won’t be accepted.
And we believe we aren’t good enough.
But here’s something we all need to realize: there’s nothing wrong with being purposeful about how you share yourself online.
The problem happens, when what you do share isn't something you identify with or who you really are.
Watch yourself - do you ever see yourself trying to absorb a part of someone else’s personality and then calling it your own because you like how they look on social…
You may even think they’re “better” than who you really are.
The result is you begin to feel divided.
And maybe even a little confused.
I’ve got news for you.
This isn’t unique to social media.
It can happen in real life, too.
Reflect back to your school days.
Chances are, at some point in your life, you made a friend and you suddenly wanted to dress like her.
Maybe even act like her, too.
The important thing is recognizing when it’s happening, so you can return to your roots.
I’ve got a 4 step process that can help walk you through this.
Step 1 - Give Yourself Time
Set aside about 30 or 40 minutes for yourself.
Make sure you can focus on yourself at this time. No distractions.
Yeah, you may have to do a little negotiating with the other humans you live with but make sure you get this time. It’s super important!
And do NOT feel guilty for asking for it.
Step 2 - Write Down One or Two Things You Care About
These things can be anything but, ideally, they’ll spark a little emotion in you.
If you don’t have paper, make a note in your phone or just focus your thoughts on them.
Some ideas could be:
Whatever you choose, it should be something you feel very deeply about.
Step 3 - Ask Yourself Why
Why do you care about that thing?
Then ask yourself why again. Repeat this 5 times.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you wrote down a lifestyle choice you’ve made - like you’re plant-based 🙃
You’d start by asking, “Why am I plant-based?”
Maybe your answer would be, “because I believe it’s the healthiest way I can nourish my body.”
Then your next question would be, “Why do I believe plant-based eating is the healthiest way to nourish my body?”
And so on. Until you worked through at least 5 layers of “why”.
Step 4 - When You Answer That Last “Why” You’ll Find You Uncovered Something Deeper About Yourself.
Sometimes it brings up old memories. Sometimes it awakens a passion you forgot you had.
It’s a powerful exercise.
And it never fails to ground you in the truth of who you are. It connects you to the things you care about most, and roots you in the why behind it.
You can repeat this simple exercise as many times as you want.
Who knows, you may just learn something about yourself. ;)
You can even apply this to your business. If you’re struggling to connect a why to what you’re doing, give this a try and see what you uncover.
If this was helpful but you want to explore the answer to that ultimate why, you should download my free Positioning Planner.
This is a mini workbook that helps you work through this even deeper. As a result, you’ll be able to show up even more authentically online and in real life.