Over the last few months I’ve been more active on social media to give my personal views, both through regular posts and these blogs. I really believe in the importance of helping others and supporting individuals on their own journey. This led me first into working in Government, then into Diversity and Inclusion work, and most recently into coaching.
One of my initial blockers was whether I would come across cheesy, or insincere. There are after all many people who reshare inspirational quotes which we gloss by as we often find scattered through our Instagram and Linkedin feeds.
The answer for me was bringing a higher level of authenticity into what I say. I post things that I think will be genuinely helpful for people, and that I actually believe. After all, how can I give advice to anyone if I don’t believe it myself?
As humans, we are far more likely to be attuned to and be interested in genuine authenticity. In a world where we’re often given half-truths or obfuscated information, we crave someone who is willing to be honest and open with what they say. Genuine honesty is a rare commodity. And like any rare commodity, it is valued highly.
So bringing this to you. Understanding your genuine authentic self and being willing to share your message is far more likely to get you where you want to go, whatever situation you may be in. Let’s say you’ve been pushing for a promotion and your manager is aware you’re keen to progress. Have you stated the reason why you want that next job? Perhaps it’s to increase your salary to provide for your own family, which is something you may not have mentioned outwardly. Try actually saying this out loud. If not to anyone else, to yourself.
If you were to say this out loud to any neutral person, I would be hard pressed to find anyone who would not support you with your goal. By being authentic and open, we are creating our own set of cheerleaders which will only serve to help us in the long run. Furthermore, we’re more likely to be in tune with ourselves when we are verbalizing our own desires.
Naturally there are times you will not want to tell the truth all of the time. I have already previously written about the difficulties of a toxic workplace in a previous blog. Your own self-preservation is absolutely critical before being able to open up authentically. It is why I believe so ardently in Diversity and Inclusion, as it enables people to be their more authentic selves in the workplace and beyond.
To give a more concrete example, I’m going to write about something on my mind below. I want you to notice how you feel:
I am really enjoying writing on social media about self development, coaching and Diversity and Inclusion. My aspiration is that I can do this as a career and leave my full-time job in the next few years. I am worried about leaving the safety of my job (which I must say is a good job that I am fortunate to have!), but I also know that I will not find the level of fulfillment I desire if I stay long-term. This is something I am currently battling with, so I am looking to find new avenues of work to see if I can truly make it by going it alone.
How did reading this make you feel?
Being authentic will benefit you in the long run. It will also deepen your relationship with the people that matter. So take a moment to think how you can be more authentic in your interactions, perhaps ‘unlocking’ certain off-limit conversations that you never have with workplace colleagues or friends. I would love to hear how you go with this, so do let me know in the comments!