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Authenticity February 14, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being authentic and what that means. I got started on this train of thought after taking a teleclass on marketing as a solopreneur (cool new word). My friend Karen Talavera and an associate have put together a program for lonely marketers who have to do everything in their business from promoting it to doing the actual work. It’s called high altitude marketing if you’d like to check it out. http://highaltitudemarketingacademy.com/

One of their points is that in order to connect with your potential clients you have to cultivate a number of important attributes, one of which is authenticity. If you can come from a place that is true to who you are then you will be more compelling to your potential client.

As I thought about authenticity, I realized that it’s been one of my touchstones for most of my life. I feel the need to be truthful about who I am and what I believe. My personal code says I can remain silent at times but I can’t speak something I don’t believe in. Because of this, I don’t enjoy being around people who are not authentic, who try to put a positive face on everything, or who outright lie about who they are. That said, there are lots of times that I end up working with or being around others who I believe lack authenticity.

So I have developed a very finely-tuned bullshit meter. It’s weird how it works and it’s not just peculiar to me, I think. Most people have one. (Though I have been accused of being peculiar but only by those who have no imagination.) My bullshit meter goes off when I’m around someone who is coming from a place that is not consistent with who they really are. And the way that I experience it is by a feeling of tension that manifests in my body. The best way that I can describe it is a kind of cringe that starts out in my solar plexus and makes its way up to my shoulders. Over the years I’ve learned to recognize this as good feedback and react accordingly.

In the best circumstance it’s someone I know well and have a big enough relationship with to offer my assessment that they are full of shit. However, at times, I just have to suck it up. At those times I marvel at the capacity we humans can have for denial and story-telling. I should know, I’ve caught myself doing it plenty of times.

So what causes a lack of authenticity? I think the answer is simple. We are afraid that if we show up as who we really are we will be rejected by others. In a way, it’s a huge lack of self-love/self-esteem that causes us to be inauthentic. It feels unsafe for us to show our true selves.

So what’s a person to do when faced with the inevitable self-loathing that can lead to inauthentic behavior? My advice? Just say no…I have found over the years that the price I pay for giving away my power or presenting myself in a way that doesn’t feel right is way too large. And do you really think that no one will notice? They’ll notice.

Try practicing for just one day. For one day, say nothing that you don’t believe. You’re allowed to keep silent which is a way to begin. See how you feel at the end of the first day. If you like it, keep going. If you hate it, keep going.




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