What Is Authenticity? Self-Awareness + Courage.
I recently enjoyed reading the book Emotional Equations by Chip Conley. Although the book is geared more towards business owners, the main concept is fascinating: that emotions can be defined by equations involving experiences, qualities and values. Throughout the book, Chip shares many different equations covering a range of emotional experiences. The one that caught my eye in particular was his equation for authenticity:
What is authenticity? Self awareness + courage
As he says, “Self-awareness without courage means you know who you are but the rest of the world doesn't. Courage without self-awareness can lead to macho posturing.”
He also shares four questions we can ask ourselves to gauge our authenticity. I’ve been using these as prompts during my daily journaling and found them insightful and enlightening:
1. Who knows you best? Would they describe you differently from the rest of the world? How do you show up on their presence? How do you feel around them?
2. What is the biggest masquerade in your life today? When do you feel the biggest disconnect between who you are and what you're doing? What were/are the circumstances that led you into this situation? How do you cope with or compensate for this feeling of disconnection? How do you think it affects the people and relationships in your life?
3. How are you most frequently misperceived and why? What is the real you and why is it others don't see that as much as you'd like them to?
4. If an objective observer watched you for 24 hours a day for a month, what do you think they would say are your three greatest strengths and your three greatest weaknesses? How do you feel about each of those six qualities?
Your challenge: What is authenticity to you? Set aside 30 minutes over the next week to answer these questions. What do you notice about your responses? What surprises you?Leave a comment to share your thoughts.