The notion of “wearing a mask” has taken on a whole new meeting since COVID-19, hasn’t it? I’d like to take us back to the previous meaning. The one where “wearing a mask” meant that we weren’t true to ourselves- weren’t “authentic”.
I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity lately.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to be authentically you.
I’ve been thinking about how on social media (and in-person for that matter) I see (and feel) people that do not seem to be authentically them.
Someone recently said something in an online group I participate in and it was to the effect of this: “If you feel like you’re having to be “salesy” in your business, I invite you to think about that.” So I did- I thought about that. Did I come off as “salesy”? Someone who sells aggressively and superficially? I came to the conclusion that no, I don’t believe I am one of those people. I strive to be as authentic as possible. True to myself and what I believe.
Do I have to “sell” my business? Yeah- I do, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to expand and grow and reach more people. But in that, do I need to be “salesy”? The answer is clear to me- it’s a resounding NO!
You know, when I was still teaching in public schools, there never seemed to be the need to wrestle with the idea of people being authentic or inauthentic. The other teachers and I just showed up and did our best. We didn’t need to “sell” what they were teaching in our classes, and we certainly didn’t need to gain clients- ie: students. There were always plenty of them to go around and we were just given a new class each year and we all did our best with the kids in front of us.
Fast forward to now. I own a business and am wrestling with the notion of authenticity.
So what am I learning from that?
I’m learning that for me, I don’t want to post a “fake-feeling”, inauthentic video of myself on social media. I don’t want people to scroll through my feed and pass it by because they also can sense the lack of authenticity.
I also don’t want to present myself in-person as salesy either. I want to show up as authentically me. I want my business to be reflective of authenticity and come across as genuine and sincere in its goals and mission.
You know what else I learned? Do you want to know who is almost always unapologetically authentic?
Most children (especially the younger ones) are unapologetically authentic. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’ve always gravitated towards working with them- who knows? But I think I’m going to take a lesson learned from them.
I choose to show up UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC.
I choose to go against the grain and post content and show up in a way that (hopefully) won’t make someone turn their head away or scroll past with the thought “how fake” in their head.
And so- I turn it over to you. If you also own a business (or even if you don’t) how do you show up in the world? How do you want to show up in the world?
Or wearing a mask of inauthenticity?
I invite you to think about that.