Karen Evans is another Twitter friend who is based in the UK and is one of the owners of Being Totally Me. She is a former City Banker who decided to change direction to help women tackle the stuff that gets in their way on a daily basis (often things they think they cannot change). Her post today gives you a lens through which to explore your authenticity, and I am so happy to share it with you!
It seems that lots of women believe they are already leading authentic lives when in fact they are not. It kinda then makes sense for us to look at what makes a life inauthentic in the first place. What are the causes of inauthenticity?
Very simply, there are 2 causes of inauthenticity which both derive from learned behaviour:
Number 1 is where we manipulate others to get what we THINK we want.
Number 2 is where we manipulate others to AVOID getting what we think we DON’T Want.
With Number 1, where people manipulate others to get what they THINK they want, the incongruity with the TRUE SELF is the result of fearful thoughts. Fearful thoughts of what you may ask. Well it can be fear of rejection, fear of loss of approval, fear of losing love and the list goes on according to the individual.
Authenticity is lost when we hold the erroneous perception that manipulating others will get us what we want. This can often lead to self rejection on some level (albeit unconsciously) where we know that this is NOT who we are. Our mind makes the fearful thoughts look real and the behaviours are apparent and felt.
Some possible behaviours that stem from this inauthenticity are placating others, putting ourselves down, doing behaviours to make ourselves appear as likeable, acceptable to others, or to just fit in with everyone else. With this perception individuality might be considered risky
Number 2, where we manipulate others to AVOID getting what we think we DON’T Want, is being driven by having strong negative thoughts about ourself. This can lead to a person trying to compensate for this to prove these thoughts to be wrong, whilst at the same time living as if these thoughts are true in the background. Again, this error in thinking leads to other possible behaviours like exaggerating to compensate.
Saying I am being who I am is a BIG STATEMENT. As we said at the beginning most women would say that they are. However, this statement on its own is not enough as a woman may be demonstrating her best manipulative behaviours (albeit unconsciously) to get what she wants and then calls this being authentic.
At BeingTotallyMe we define Authenticiy:
Authenticity is being congruent: when the words and behaviours that we display are in alignment with each other.
Being genuine cannot be fake; most people are highly sensitive to incongruent behaviour.
Inauthencity or Incongruent behaviours are often learned in childhood: when a parent scolds a child and makes them feel bad. Unconsciously the child jumps off the authentic path. Parents don’t realise they are demonstrating one thing whilst saying another when doing this.
The false idea of attempting to get love and approval from outside ourselves is what leads to adjustments in our behaviours. It’s almost like we have to learn to dance to please others then we will be safe. To find out whether you are leading an authentic life, ask yourself are you Number 1 or Number 2 or neither?