Being authentic is what makes us successful and thriving. It means that our best version and full potential becomes alive by being ourselves. However, how do we become authentic?
I was struggling with that question for many years. I was always searching for the answers to the question; if authenticity is just being yourself, why is it so difficult? Why don’t I feel like I am living my authentic self?
In my pursuit to answer that question, I’ve invested a lot of time into books, articles, podcasts, and seminars, and eventually, I’ve stumbled on Gallup and within Gallup, Clifton’s StrengthsFinder. That was the beginning of my path towards authenticity and fulfillment.
My upbringing very much focused on areas where I had to improve, which meant improving my weaknesses. Of course, my parents did that with their best intention, trying to pave the way for the world that was in front of me. However, this led to never-ending attempts to be somebody else, someone that I was supposed to be.
Focusing on improving our weaknesses is a mindset, and honestly, that is not so rare in our culture, education systems, and workplaces. What we do is struggle to become a well-rounded figure, which is actually not even possible. And we forget about our self and our true needs.
It was Clifton’s StrengthsFinder that widened my perspective and led me to embrace a different mindset. A mindset that focused on the positive. It was the moment when I realized that it is ok to be me. The path towards fully living my authentic self is to focus my development from the things that I am told that I need to improve, to something that I am already strong at.
We all have our innate talents. They are already there within us, and they are deriving from our inner needs. They are our naturally recurring pattern of feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
After fully recognizing my talents, I could channel them to enhance my development. As human beings, we all have a natural tendency towards development and growth. Developing something that comes easily to you and is based on pleasing your inner needs becomes just a joyful game of life. And here, the authenticity and strengths-based development come hand in hand. Using your talents in your everyday life makes you feel motivated, fulfilled, and energized and then authenticity simply becomes its byproduct.
After my journey of self-discovery, I can finally say that I am not afraid to be my authentic self anymore. However, first, I had to realize what is natural to me, what my talents are, what makes me tick, what my cravings are, and what kind of impact I want to have. This led me to create my own blueprint, and once I was aware of it, the only way there is is to move towards living it. I just can’t help myself not to develop further. My mindset shift helped me to finally feel free, successful and happy. And that, my dear network, is the ultimate goal of authenticity.