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From Conformity to Courage: The Evolution of Authenticity


Much as we get impatient and frustrated when we are in the belly of the beast, in the world of work, there is a clear evolution in terms of authenticity and courage.


When we start out in our careers, we are often determined to emulate whatever is deemed as "professional" behavior. We are desperate to pass undetected, and we look around at older and more accomplished counterparts with a mixture of envy and awe. We wonder how they can have such a free-spirited and touchy-feely persona, while we feel like we have to toe the line and play it safe. From where we stand, authenticity and a firm point of view are the last of the things we have been shown are valuable at our junior level.


However, as we evolve, as our self-awareness grows, our business acumen develops, and our skillset increases, we start to notice that the fearlessness and extreme honesty that some leaders proudly display is paramount to their ability to be inspiring and efficient. We start opening up here and there, sharing our true selves with our colleagues and our clients. We start to take risks, speaking our minds even when we know it might not be popular. We start to lead by example, showing others that it is possible to be both authentic and successful.


This evolution is not just happening in the workplace. It is happening all over the world. People are starting to realize that authenticity is not a weakness, but a strength. It is what allows us to connect with others on a deeper level, to build trust, and to create a more meaningful life.


Of course, there are still challenges to overcome. There are still people who value conformity over authenticity. There are still people who are afraid to speak their minds. But the tide is turning. More and more people are realizing that authenticity is the key to a fulfilling life.


So, if you are feeling like you are not being your true self, I encourage you to keep evolving. Keep growing. Keep taking risks. The world needs more authentic people.

Here are some tips for evolving in terms of authenticity and courage:


  • Be mindful of your thoughts and words. What are you telling yourself about who you are and what you are capable of? Are you being honest with yourself?

  • Be open to feedback. Ask for genuine, real "over-a-cuppa-or-pint" feedback from trusted friends, family, and colleagues. What do they see in you? What do they think you are good at? What do they think you could improve on?

  • Take small risks to start opening up to your peers and build "organisational permission". Don't try to change everything overnight. Start by taking small risks, such as sharing your opinion in a meeting or speaking up for yourself in a difficult situation around the rest of management.

  • Be patient. It takes time to evolve. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Just keep taking steps in the right direction.

I believe that we are all on a journey of evolution. We are all becoming more authentic and courageous. And I believe that the world is a better place because of it. --------

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