Authenticity

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At a company meeting, Steve suggested that authenticity would be a good subject for my next post. Keep in mind this is my opinion and personal experience.  Authenticiticy is an on-going theme at Blumvox Studios. The concepts appear in our core beliefs and in many of Steve’s lessons, and in our blog posts such as this one by Trina Watton. After reading a lot of material I reflected on myself and how I could be a more authentic person. Here are my thoughts.

Am I An Authentic Person?

Whenever I made a mistake, as a joke, my Dad would remark, “Nobody is perfect” then he’d add, “except me.” As a father of 6, my dad certainly knew he was not perfect but he was certainly an example of authenticity.  He was honest and transparent in every way and he had a confidence in who he was.

I think I’m an authentic person, at least I try to be, but I would be kidding myself if I suggested I have achieved perfection in that regard. I tend to be very protective and I have an ego that is sometimes bigger and more fragile than it should be.

Living an authentic life requires a lot of self-examination, discipline, and courage.  There is always something to discover and work on.  That said, I know that it is the pursuit of authenticity that is key to my personal success.

Authentic People Embrace Their Mistakes

Feeling negative about the mistakes I’ve made I imagine is normal. To be more authentic I need to admit my errors (especially to myself foremost) and learn from them.  Being open about my failings is a simple concept but hard in practice.

Do I Love or Even Like My Work?

In the past, I’ve taken jobs to please other people’s points of view or to boost my ego.  Those were hard jobs and long days. I have learned to find something rewarding in my work no matter how mundane it can be in a given moment.

When I choose jobs that are suitable to my sense of self, not just my skills but my heart as well, I am more productive and happier. Thankfully, my current work checks off a lot of good skillset and emotional boxes and I’m grateful for that.

Am I A Pretender?

Everyone wants to be liked but how far do I go to coax people into liking me? Do I change my demeanor, voice, and personality in different situations? Do I pretend to be something or someone else?  Am I trying too hard to sell myself or my company?

When I go to an interview or audition there is a temptation to inflate my credentials or pretend I have more experience. Maybe you have had a similar experience. If I inflate my credentials I almost surely will not get the job and if I do, I’m likely going to fail.

An authentic person doesn’t have to work hard to “sell” themselves. I am enough and you are enough just as you are. When you believe it then it shows in everything you do and the right people will gravitate to you.

A good example is Steve Blum. Steve may change his voice and create characters as a living, but in our lessons,  meetings, and personal interactions, he is always authentically himself. He’s WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). And I guess that’s a good way to think of it – Authenticity is Wysiwyg.

Am I Being Authentic with me?

If I say to myself, “I enjoy smelling garbage (or something I hate),” my body reacts physically in a negative way.

If I try something more true, such as, “I love the spring (or something I enjoy),” my body reacts differently.

I can convince myself of a lie but my subconscious knows better. After Anikiko’s Success Series, I’ve learned to pay attention to my physical reactions and listen to what my subconscious is telling me.

Stay In My Own Truth

My Nana lived to be 2 weeks shy of 100. She often advised, “mind your own business”.

She was naturally an authentic person and grew even more so the older she became. I say don’t wait to be 100…

I try to check myself when tempted to project my truth on others. If I’m in other people’s business trying to solve their problems without being an example myself, I’m not being authentic. How can I know what’s best for anyone else? It is arrogant, even in the name of love, to project my truth on someone else. Doing so can result in a lot of harm to a relationship.

I need to work harder to be more of an example by living in my own truth and being consistent.

Authentic People Embrace The Ugly

Fred Rogers says, “I like you, just the way you are.”

Okay, that sounds soppy but it is a foundation of being authentic. It is a simple truth that it is okay to be you.

No one knows me more than ME. If there is something ugly in my self I can’t improve or change it until I first recognize and embrace it as part of who I am.  As I become more accepting of myself I will build stronger relationships with others. That will contribute to my success in life.

Authentic People Work on Self

I play guitar and piano and I try to learn something new musically and something new around my web management job, every day. Can I do more? Sure. I could exercise more, read more, and meditate. I could engage more with friends and family.

Personal growth, physical, mental, and emotional, is essential to my health and success. Steve Blum has been an example of someone that works on himself daily. He talks about this in a number of ways in his teaching series and talks about this in meetings and with friends.

Be Present

This is sometimes a failing of mine. When something is less interesting I wander off, my mind turns to other things. This is not authentic behavior.

Authentic people are present and able to fully focus on the experiences, conversations, and interactions. If I’m not fully engaged in a particular moment, I need to decide if I want to be there and focus my attention or take myself out of the situation. Being half there just feels bad and makes me look like I don’t care.

Expressing myself

My opinion not only matters to others, but it also matters to me. Holding my opinion back because it may be unpopular or hiding my feelings is inauthentic and it wears me down.

At the same time, I need to be vulnerable and genuine. I need to be open about myself, my flaws, and my emotions. I know when I am more genuine when I express myself I gain the trust of people around me.

Asking for help

Authentic people ask for help when they need it. I sometimes fail in this respect and it’s hugely detrimental.

If I don’t get help when I need it, I struggle and the work doesn’t get done in a timely manner. I’m also disrespecting the talents and skills of people I work with or people in my life that would be honored and delighted to be asked.

Conclusion

Striving to be more authentic will help me build trusting longer-term relationships and business partners which will lead to success.

As Blumvox Studios has grown over the past year, our staff has strived to become more transparent, more open, and more authentic with each other. It is impressive.

I have attended many of the webinar events and I’m most impressed with the authenticity of the guest artists and the attendees as well.

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John MacKenzie
John MacKenzie

Web Designer, Graphic Artist & Photographer

John is currently the Webmaster for Blumvox Studios. If something on our site is broken, I fix it. If something has to be built, I build it.

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