Authenticity is something that has been redefined and somewhat lost in my opinion. Oh sure many people walk around saying they are focusing on being their “true self.” But what I’m talking about is not authenticity in a self centered and self focused way, where it’s all about you showing the world who you really are or are not. I’m talking about good, plain, old fashioned honesty with other people. I have come to know that the most important part of life wether it’s our personal life or business, is our relationships. How well do we truly get along with other people. Am I truly an honest person? If my co-worker asks me, “Oh my God look at these new shoes, aren’t they darling?” Will I just go along with her knowing that I think they are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen or will I politely say, “Well they are not my taste, but if you like them, I love them!”
So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. -Acts 24:16
The reason people can’t be authentic with other people is because authenticity requires courage and most people are cowards when it comes to social unpopularity. Oh sure they can be their “true self” when it involves a shock factor and driven by selfishness and telling the whole world to kiss where the sun doesn’t shine. Although, when it’s a one-on-one or few-on-few setting of true intimacy, many are experts at posturing. We like to put on our fake face and say what is expected of us, all the while grumbling under our breath, because the courage was simply not there to tell the truth when asked what we thought or what we are about. Please do not misunderstand me. I am well aware that in many situations, saying what you really think is totally a risk. It could be at your job with your boss, a co-worker, a client, or any situation where your financial livelihood, popularity or career could be in jeopardy. This situation is what scares us the most. It even stops many of us from being a true witness of our faith. Now now, don’t settle into guilt. We all are guilty or have been guilty of this sometime, somewhere. That is why we need to examine our nature and look to God to help change us.
For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. -2Corinthians 8:21
We should always strive to rest in honesty. We have even reached a cultural environment in business, where things are changing rapidly. We are starting to see when we do take the risk of being honest, most people will respect us for it. It is because it takes courage and a level of conviction, that people are refreshed when they encounter real honesty. They admire it. Even many leaders will highly respect those who had the guts to tell them the truth. Business is becoming more and more about relationship, pulling back the curtain and not about being “PC”. People are growing tired of the prepackaged commercial and/or performance based communication, they want real people, AUTHENTICITY! We finally want real people with pure motives, who have something to offer. I truly believe that as long as you have a genuine love and adoration for others, when you are humble and honest, most people will find you uplifting and refreshing. Of course you will always have the “interesting” people who no matter what you do, they will find a flaw in you to focus on, but just pray for them and stay true. I believe God loves it when we are transparent and honest with Him and with each other. Therefore, take courage, pray and be truthful with God, yourself and others. You may not win every little battle when you take the authentic road, but you will certainly be victorious in winning the war!! Remember, if you loose a client, friend, or colleague from being lovingly honest, maybe their exit just came up on the road of your life. No worries, God’s got you. When you are a sincerely honest person and not to just make others feel less than; people love it!!
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. -Proverbs 11:3