Authenticity as a Real Life Skill for Changing the World

Filed as Features, General on May 22, 2007 6:00 am

My friend, Peg, — a nonblogger — says that blogging is the best form of self-improvement. I agree. Blogging stretches us, as we communicate real information in real time with real feeling. The blogging culture demands authenticity and transparency, How could that not untangle personal issues that we might have been carrying?

Authenticity and transparency by definition require self-awareness and a loss of false modesty. Those two conditions underpin communication undermine our comfortable notions about who we are. The old ways we saw ourselves and the old words we used to describe us no longer work quite so well. They’re too misleading, self-deprecating, or just not really who we are.

Once we get the hang of it, authenticity and transparency free us to be honest without self-consciousness. The old fear of boastfulness or self-promotion is gone, because we are self-expressed. Learning to communicate in a blogging culture of such values could make any blogger a better person. It’s done that for me.

Learning to communicate authentically is a critical life skill. Authenticity and transparency build relationships. Relationships are the currency of success in society. Relationships are everyone’s business and every business is relationships.

The magic about this is folks are taking what bloggers have learned back into the real world. See this point from a list that Penelope Trunk developed for Guy Kawasaki. It’s from a list on workplace myths and the truths that debunk them.

There is no magic formula to having a great career except to be you. Really you. Know who you are and have the humility to understand that self-knowledge is a never-ending journey. Figure out how to do what you love, and you’ll be great at it. Offer your true, good-natured self to other people and you’ll have a great network. Those who stand out as leaders have a notable authenticity that enables them to make genuinely meaningful connections with a wide range of people. Authenticity is a tool for changing the world by doing good.

Then move on to the wisdom of less is more offered by Steve Roesler.

If we’re going to consider authenticity as a success factor, then we need to acknowledge:
1. What we think we should be — but we are not.
2. What someone else told us we should be — but we are not.
3. What we think others want to hear that we are — but we are not.
4. What we think we can become — but we know we cannot.

Blogging leads us to know who we are. It must, if we become authentic. Authenticity by it’s very nature is about humility and acceptance of our transparent selves.

This is world-changing action taking place from the inside out of each individual. If I want to change the world, what better place to start than in my mirror?

Liz Strauss writes and talks about changing the world at Successful-Blog.

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  1. By Mary-Louise posted on May 23, 2007 at 7:06 pm
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    I work for Guy Kawasaki. Thanks for the link to Guy’s interview with Penelope Trunk!

    Mary-Louise
    http://blog.guykawasaki.com/
    http://www.truemors.com/