Tag Archives: authenticity

succeed and win

“This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Do you feel that you are successful?

Are you winning the daily battles?

Are you winning in your version of life?

What does it mean to win?

How do you set and reset the bar of excellence in your life?

What kind of goals are you setting each day?

To win each day is to focus on noticing what is most important right now.  What is important now?  (WIN – what’s important now).

For many people doing what is not important now is consuming their time.  At work how many important things are left undone because the focus is on answering or reviewing emails, answering a text message or following a lonely path through Facebook.

To WIN means setting real and tangible goals that are important each day.  Just a few important things, the most important things, are to be the focal point of the day.

What am I doing that leads to greater satisfaction?

What am I doing that leads to greater productivity?

What am I doing that will make a lasting difference?

What motivates and inspires you?   Are you doing those things in some way each day?

Success is winning the day.  Winning the day means focusing on what is the most important to focus on right now.   Build in the opportunity to be successful each day.   Be the initiator of great work by doing what is most important now.

what’s your problem?

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
Haruki Murakami

jester

Yes, you do have a problem.   The problem is being authentic and not pretending to be someone you are not.   It happens at work, it happens at home, it happens almost everywhere you go.   Being authentic, being who you really are is difficult to do when you are trying to meet the expectations of others. The lack of authenticity shows up at work as doing what you don’t really want to do and doing it because you have to.   It rubs against the very nature of who you are and slowly you change the work to match your strengths.

Personal relationships can be ruined by the lack of authenticity as well.  Marriages will fail if the partners hide behind inauthentic behaviors.   Saying one thing and doing another or pretending to be a person you are not just to prevent loneliness creates a new set of problems that will need to be dealt with. It takes courage to be authentic and reveal the real issues that one faces to others.

For those who can be authentic is the reward of freedom and happiness.  The amount of work that it requires to hide from your own reality creates a great deal of internal stress and unhappiness.   Fear keeps people from being authentic and fear is what creates the masks of deception.

So, what are your problems?  What masks are you hiding behind?  What is it costing you?

 

living with greater transparency

“Transparency means radical authenticity, free from ego defenses and impure motives. It’s the ultimate challenge to the ego. You could sit on a meditation cushion until you dropped dead and never have your capacity for radical transparency tested. The real test, for all of us, is in relationship. Come together. When there’s radical transparency and the ego steps aside, each single individual in that extraordinary collective context has access to the power and depth and clarity of the enlightened mind. And that’s when enlightenment really starts to take on new meaning and significance for us all.”  Andrew Cohen

What does transparency in life mean?
What does lack of transparency cost?

Like the iceberg most people only expose a small amount of who they really are.    Being transparent is being honest, it is being authentic, it is being genuine, and it is being open.   That may sound like a lot to do, to be transparent, to be real.

Transparency matters in any relationship and without it trust erodes and when people hide more and more of themselves  they eventually destroying the relationship.   For some there is a belief that if they hide just one thing no one will ever know and that they can keep this secret to themselves.   As Rep. Weiner found out transparency (being honest, being forthright, being open) is important.

What does the transparent leader look like?

or

What does the transparent man or woman look like?

Maybe it looks like,

a. Acknowledge any mistake, find out what the lesson is.
b. Examine what there is to learn from a mistake or misjudgment.
c. Recover from the mistake gracefully, and make things right.
d. Forgive  yourself, let go of the past.
e. Let it go.   Mistakes happen, learn, recover, let go.

What would it mean to others to say, “I made a mistake”?

What would it mean to others to say, ” I am here to listen not to judge”?

Transparency lets others see what is below the surface, it lets them see who you really are.   Transparency is stronger than the fear of revealing any flaw or crack you may have in your character.   The person who is transparent will be stronger than those that aren’t, because when everyone can see who you are and there is nothing to hide there is also nothing to expose.

People who come to a coach want to work through an issue so that they can move forward have to be willing to be transparent.   Being open, being honest and being vulnerable allows the client to grow.    When a client knows they won’t be judged for being transparent it means that they are  free to get to the core issue that is stopping them from achieving their goals.

Being transparent allows you to grow.

What is the lack of transparency costing you?

 

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”  Maya Angelou

 
 

10 things … for a better you

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ” Theodore Roosevelt

 

There are a lot of unhappy people in America today.   Worker satisfaction is at a low point with large numbers of people thinking about looking for something else to do.    Job satisfaction is a very important criteria for overall personal well-being and happiness.

1. Find work that is in alignment with your strengths and personality.

2. Have regular authentic and genuine conversations with your manager/supervisor/leader.    (Sometimes this won’t be possible, so ensure you have a trusted person you can speak to in your organization).   People leave organizations where they supervisor is supportive of you.

3. Be authentic.  Why be a fake, be the genuine you even thought you might believe it is difficult.   Being authentic means that you are being honest with yourself and your abilities.   Accept who you are and find what works for you.

3. Be transparent.   Transparency in life means being able to express “who” you are without putting on a mask.   People can see that you are the real deal, not a fake, that you are sincere and are able to do what you say.   Being transparent will allow you to experience less stress in your life.

4. Eat well.   Everyone has stress and some people have a lot of stress.  Find healthy foods and eat more of them.   Diets filled with poor quality calories are leading people to eating more than they need and that leads to poor health in many people.    Good health is less expensive than poor health.    Save money by eating right and losing weight.  

5. Exercise often.   Exercise was part of life not long ago.  Today more and more people spend their day sitting.    Lack of exercise reduces overall strength and health.   Exercise consumes some of the stress hormones the body produces.   Exercise also help people sleep better at night.  

6.  Get enough rest.  People are cramming more and more into each day and cutting back on sleep.   The lack of adequate rest can lower your individual stress threshold making you more vulnerable to stressful events that occur in each day.  

7. Be grateful.   Look around at what is going right in your life.  Notice a sunset and sunrise.   Just take a deep breath and relax in the moment.  Find peace.  Is there a roof over your head, food to eat and clothes to wear.   Sometimes just the basics are overlooked.  

8.  Be thankful.   Thank someone today.   Find a reason to give thanks.   Find someone to thank each day.

9.  Find a reason to smile.   Now if you really can’t find a reason to smile, smile at someone else.  Just smile for the fun of it and see what happens.   Smile to enlighten someone else.   Maybe a smile will cause a giggle to burst out or a laugh.  What is so funny when you smile about nothing at all?

10. Take time out for you.   Find a time, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and just stop doing and start doing nothing.   Just reflect and sit back and relax.   Do this alone, and do it quietly.   Do it each day, form a new habit for yourself.  Quiet the mind for you.

 

“Happiness consists more in small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”
Benjamin Franklin

authentically you

 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson 

What would it be like if you could live as the authentic you?   What would life offer you if you didn’t have to act or pretend?   For some people that is a scary thought.   The idea of being authentic and genuine is filled with dread, fear and shame for some people.   It might be that you would think that others would start to think of you as you think of you, so the only choice you feel you have is to act.  At some point acting becomes hard to do.   The “true” you is trying to escape and live a life that is really happy from the inside out.   The mask says you’re happy but the feeling on the inside is far different.     If you believe that you aren’t good enough then taking the mask off is just going to expose who you truly think you are.  

What would happen if you could believe in the “true” you?   What would your life start to look like if you could do what would be “true” for you?

Take a few steps towards the true you.

  1. What would the true you really do if you could?
  2. What steps could you take to being the true you?
  3. What would you want to change?
  4. What would it take to start?

 

Appreciate every moment, be grateful for what you do you have, and  live a life you designed.

Being Transparent

Like a looking glass into our soul. Often it is something that isn’t done. It is a way to keep our true self from being seen by others. Being transparent and showing your inner light to others is not something everyone does.

Hiding self from others for fear of rejection, or because of a lack of self-confidence, or because there are deep scars, or because there is a smoldering wound, or because there is a broken heart, or because there is an unfilled void is not the path towards greater happiness. Living a transparent life is a choice that must be made. Living behind a veil will in many cases diminish the fullness of life.

How does being transparent help bring about a better life? When there are no secrets, no deep voids, no fear then power that was coming from others comes from within. Power from within is continuous, it is free, it is brighter and of better quality.

Transparency gives power away. Initially it takes power, courage and confidence to release the darkness that prevents being transparent. It takes time to test it … does it really release power or does it consume power?

Think about it from the perspective of a leader. Which leader has more power, the one that shows what is inside or the one who shrouds things in mystery? The transparent leader will acknowledge the faults, the foibles, the failures they have experienced. They will admit their shortcomings. What happens when a person reveals their inner-self to others? Do they become genuine and authentic? Do they become real people just like everyone else? Do they have the ability to relate to others?

If you want to find out what a big obstacle the ego really is, try to come together with other people in genuine transparency. Transparency means radical authenticity, free from ego defenses and impure motives. It’s the ultimate challenge to the ego. You could sit on a meditation cushion until you dropped dead and never have your capacity for radical transparency tested. The real test, for all of us, is in relationship. Come together. When there’s radical transparency and the ego steps aside, each single individual in that extraordinary collective context has access to the power and depth and clarity of the enlightened mind. And that’s when enlightenment really starts to take on new meaning and significance for us all.”

Andrew Cohen
London, March 2004

Transparency is sliding aside the curtains of the soul revealing its character. It is not easy or quick to do if there have been many years, many scars, many fears that stand in the way. The opaque window will neither let in light nor let light out.

Dostoyevsky wrote, “Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself in secret. But there are other things which man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”

Transparency reveals the character of a person. Transparency informs others of the integrity of a person. Information that threatens the self threatens self-esteem. Threats create anxiety and the anxiety transforms our character. The reason it damages the character is due to the nature of the internal self-talk that takes place – generally negative. Transparency will remove the need to hide from the issues which generate anxiety. The lack of anxiety will naturally result in self-talk that is positive – the self will not be talking down the self but rather acknowledging the self in a positive form.

The idea that the truth will set us free is an outcome of transparency. Working towards transparency might be better done with someone that can be trusted. Exposing the darkness will require a trusted relationship so that the surfacing of the negatives can be done safely and without repercussions.

Transparency allows one to shift from hiding behind pretense to genuine living.

In a journal write down those things that prevent you from living transparently?

What can you do to become more transparent?

What risks are you willing to take?

What benefits do you think you would obtain by living transparently?

Selflessness

The question of selflessness was raised in response to a prior post. The answer that I have chosen follows the path of servant-leadership.

“The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious change brings one to aspire to lead. The best test is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant Leader, 1970

That quote by Greenleaf nearly defines the role of a coach. The goal of a coach is to enable, encourage, acknowledge and nurture change in others. The coach serves others as they develop themselves. This is true of a leader as well and the two roles, coach and leader, are distinguished only by the role. A leader is often viewed as the person in front of the crowd. The coach could be viewed as a member of the crowd that helps the leader grow in becoming a better servant. The view is that from leader the next logical step is coach, helping others become more of who they are.

The servant-coach fits this description, “Servant Leadership deals with the reality of power in everyday life – its legitimacy, the ethical restraints upon it and the beneficial results that can be attained through the appropriate use of power.” New York Times (October 2, 1990)

Being selfless is defined as having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish (thefreedictionary.com). A servant leader, a coach in their ultimate role is an act of selflessness. Attaining the wisdom and taming the ego are two important traits that must be continually developed to be good at leadership or at coaching.

When we are prepared to ask of ourselves, “I am ready to seek a future different from the past.” we are stepping into the realm of personal and deep change. Those who are ready to seek a future that is radically different than the past may want to have a coach assist them in that transition. What does the future look like? How will I be prepared to face the new future I am creating?

Can you answer with authenticity the question, “Do I love what I see inside of me?”, if not then there is room for growth, change and new possibilities.