A reader of The Go-Giver, citing Law #4, “The Law of Authenticity,” asked if there are books written specially on that topic.
My unresearched reply was, “Regarding books on authenticity, I’m not sure how many are out there on that topic, though I’m sure there are some. However, you’ll probably happen to find the authenticity within the writing of those books as opposed to those books necessarily being on that topic.”
Wrongo! Actually, I should have done my research. If you’ll visit this pageon amazon.com, indeed you will see a listing of books specifically on this topic.
Books aside, however, the neat thing about authenticity is that, since it is at your very essence, it is not something you need to learn . . . only to embrace.
That is accomplished by realizing that you, as a human being, are enough, exactly as you are. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t continually strive to improve ourselves. Only that the self we strive to improve is us. It means that, while we learn from others, we remain ourselves. We don’t take on others’ personalities, we don’t become them. We adapt; not adopt. We simply become a better “self.”
As Debra Davenport learned in our little story, with authenticity comes great power; the power to persuade, the power to achieve, the power to be at peace with oneself.
Strangely, I think the Law of Authenticity is one of the more difficult to grasp. The idea that just being yourself is a gift really takes a huge amount of self-assurance.
Dr. Carl Rogers (very famous psychotherapist) based his entire career on the idea that authenticity (among a few other factors) can allow others to change. Being truly authentic in a therapeutic sense takes a career’s worth of practice for most. However, I have been lucky enough to meet a few people who just ARE authentic. It’s wonderful to surround yourself with these people because they force you to look in the mirror.
Thanks for the great post.
Jason, I think you make an excellent point that it takes a great deal of confidence and self-esteem to see yourself as being “enough” just by your very essence. That, in and of itself, takes a lot of work. As you alluded to, a “career’s worth of practice.”
And, as Debra learned in the story, everyone has natural gifts that they can utilize to add value to others and – just as importantly – to communicate that value. As a result, they themselves become more successful.
Perhaps one key is assessing our own strengths and weaknesses and “playing to our strengths” while, of course, not being afraid to confront and improve upon our weaknesses, taking pleasure in the strenths we do have and being grateful for them.
Thank you for your great feedback, Jason. Much appreciated!