Idea of the Week: Authenticity

This week, I found the same clue in several places. I’ve experienced it in my life, the hard way.
So this makes it the Idea of the Week.

Authenticity creates value.

So where does this new secret of success (and, unlike Douglas Adams’ computer, I’m not gonna say “42″) come from?

Source 1:  How To Make My Blog guest post by FitJerk

Brimming with colorful language and a lot of exclamation marks, this post says that whatever you write about on your blog - and I would add: whatever you do in your job, or in your life - your core will always shine through.

If who you are doesn’t shine through, this means you’re making something up “just to look good”.

Because the market wants it.
Because readers say it’s interesting.
Because you want to fit in with the crowd.

And that’s exactly where you’ll be making a mistake.

Most people who are really, really authentic, are not “with the crowd”. Instead, the crowd wow at them, and, sometimes, follow them.

So, precisely because of the F words and the colorful language, I can tell FitJerk’s blog post is really authentic. It speaks from the author’s core and it inspires me to follow mine.

Authenticity source 2: Penelope Trunk

Authenticity source 3: Ash from The Middle Finger Project.

These are women who are not afraid to write as they speak and as they think. They don’t write for “the market”. They express themselves, and we readers click with them.

“Be great at what you do, and a little odd.”

I think I fall pretty much under the same category.

At age 22, I worked as an HR Consultant and had to look professional in front of HR Managers and CEOs. As much as I liked getting a new wardrobe to suit my corporate needs, I hated the two-piece suit. Still feel cramped in it. I spent 2 years of my life trying to look older than I really was.

Then I changed my job and got to a place where I felt like home. I was allowed – even encouraged! – to speak in a half-English, argotic corporate language that most of my co-nationals hate, dress however I wanted (ok, minimal decency requirements) and express  myself in my work.

I looked at my office birthday pictures and I look younger in the ones taken at 25 than in the ones taken at 23.

After stopping emulating a “corporate salesperson”, I became happier with myself, my career went up (money likewise of course), and because I was happier, I made friends easier. I am a bit quick-witted, and don’t think much before I speak up, but most times, my thoughts are worth listening to.

Conclusion:

If, for whatever reason, you’re doing any of the following:

- on a diet because your female co-workers or friends started one after New Year

- picking up exercise because you want to impress your boyfriend/girlfriend

- saying yes to a job you don’t want because it would look good in your CV

- connecting to people you don’t like, just because you need their help (oh, wait, this is still excusable, but play nice)

- copying an interesting idea and posting it around “just because it fits”

…censoring yourself in any way,

STOP IT!

Your uniqueness and the value you add – to relationships, in your work – comes from your personal perspective.

If you’re importing ideas or recipes without passing them through your own filter, they are empty and without value. They will seem uncomfortable to you and awkward to the ones around you.

So, do yourself and the ones around you a favor, and be yourself.

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Comments

comments

6 Comments
  • Ash
    January 8, 2010

    Hi, Maria! Just swinging by to second what you’ve said above about authenticity, and add that I think that we grew up believing that you had to fit in to be popular; I would argue the exact opposite, and say that it’s the unique ones who are a bit mad, and willing to believe in their madness, who are the ones that will end up taking away the show. Trust in yourself. Trust in your ideas. Trust in your character. And then get out there and make it happen!
    .-= Ash´s last blog ..You’re Not Drunk, But Your Vision Is Still Blurred – One Reason Why Religion, Marriage & Even Education Sucks =-.

  • Maria
    January 8, 2010

    Hey Ash,
    That’s right! always believed that a little “Alice in Wonderland” mindset does the trick – rather than fit in with the crowd, I’d embrace my little insane uniqueness.
    Kudos to all of you who have the courage to do this, everyday :)

  • Marijana
    January 8, 2010

    Hi Marija,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing great ideas and opinions with like minded people. Although, I want to encourage you to proceed with your uniqueness, cause thats the only way to stay in touch with our true SELF. I am trying to fight with conformists every day, and that fight only makes me stronger:)
    Best wishes

  • Walter
    January 9, 2010

    Most of the time, we are not aware of our propensity to satisfy the expectation of other people or of society while we are denying the true person within us. It takes realization and courage to be yourself. We must make the choice to break free from this false principle. :-)

  • Oscar - freestyle mind
    January 10, 2010

    Hi Maria, what a great post! Authenticity is also the thing that can really make the difference, especially online where you can have everything every time.
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..Interview With Dragos Roua =-.

  • Maria
    January 10, 2010

    @ Walter: yes, unfortunately society pressure is mostly towards conformity.
    @ Oscar: thank you..I also see a lot of similarities in the online world. And mostly I see how we strive to follow the crowd, cause it’s so much easier…
    Thank you for dropping by! :)

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