I admire people who ‘show up’ and express themselves. Particularly when they take that step towards authentic self-expression. There is much fear in our world, and fear is often the reason we hide, or only reveal what we consider to be acceptable about ourselves.
I believe that the fear of revealing who we are is greatly misunderstood, and that that fear somehow equals rejection by others. Yet most of us know instinctively when someone is hiding (I.e. not showing up), and consequently we do not trust them enough to reveal ourselves to them or accept them for who they appear to be.
“The more authentic you become, the more genuine in your expression, particularly regarding personal experiences and even self-doubts, the more people can relate to your expression and the safer it makes them feel to express themselves. That expression in turn feeds back on the other persons spirit, and genuine creative empathy takes place, producing new insights and learning, and a sense of excitement and adventure that keeps the process going.”
It takes courage to risk the possible rejection that authenticity could bring. Yet being authentic (being our natural selves) is one of the greatest gifts we can offer other human beings and ourselves. Although we are sometimes rejected for being our authentic selves, our quality of life is greatly enhanced, and there are many rewards. Our relationships improve and we experience less stress as a direct result of not hiding who we are. We develop deeper and longer-lasting friendships. Others in our community tend to trust us. The experience of the world seems more real. It seems to me that those who, by age or wisdom, live in the state of authenticity are revered, respected, loved and admired.
In today’s business world, I believe that we are increasingly being called upon to show up. Because we now communicate so much by e-mail, voice mail, fax, and the Internet (Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter and Zoom etc). I believe the need for interpersonal communication is continually growing the more we use technology to communicate with each other, the greater our need for face-to-face communication, and the more we crave the authenticity of personal contact. Nothing replaces the nuances of tone and pitch of a human voice or the facial and physical expressions of the communicator. But because we are using these skills less and less, we are losing our ability to show up.
Words are only part of the messages we send to each other; the emotion and intent are carried and amplified by the body language and sound of the human voice. Voice mail adds another dimension and video conferencing enhances it further, however nothing seems to replace the connection and understanding that come from the personal contact that a face-to-face meeting brings. When I show up in person and can be myself, I am heard
in a very different way-a way that starts to build the relationship and deepen the understanding between listener and speaker. This creates an opportunity for a genuine exchange to take place. Communicating in person is the most powerful form of human interaction.
Show up and make a difference.
Geoffrey lane ©