Some of you might consider this question as a cliche, or perhaps purely redundant. After all, we all are authentic – and have our own voice on this planet. And who would like to even answer this question, at the first go? We don’t like to ‘check in’ into our inner selves and feel a sense of discomfort when we are not in alignment with our brand’s soul.
But the truth is, this question is less of a candid interrogation with ourselves, and more of a muscle that you can flex with time to understand your brand coherently and with a purposeful inclusiveness.
Consistently peering into yourself will answer this question if you are staying true to your brand’s purpose and if that is reflecting on your ‘Web real estate’ – basically every touch point you have to stay in connect with your audience.
But what exactly is being authentic? It is being you, simple. On many professional occasions, you’d feel a bit of healthy dissonance as you meet many kinds of people: some who would totally sync with your perspective (or at least try to concur with what you represent and convey); and some who would simply talk but not ‘connect’ with you as their level of understanding and be relational with you is not that strong, or has a lack of synergy. In these cases, the best way to conduct yourself is by asking this question – am I being authentic? – will naturally get you to your anchor point of being yourself.
The good part of asking this question whenever you experience a bit of disconcerting feeling professionally (and even personally) is that you will be more self-aware of your reactions and responses to people. You will be more real and will have a balanced approach towards initiating or seamlessly sailing through conversations – both online and off – via finding your perfect inner rhythm with your brand’s core.
As I said, being authentic is like building a muscle; it improves with constant introspection and self-talk: chances are (and that I mean 100%) you already know if you are being yourself or not. And yes, your audience can smell that from a distance, when you are being naturally you or trying to cope up being someone they don’t think is you.
So find your inner fix by asking this question, and list down your incongruencies. And slowly keep doing this exercise; you will find your inner comfort with your brand’s consciousness – and that will show in your conversations and overall brand imagery.
Are you practicing to be authentic?