Today’s society is shifting the way in which people look at and choose their work. With a vast array of options, some fields may seem more “glamorous” than others, and the perception of this causes a desire to chase something that seems a good fit- on the surface.
Working predominantly with women I find that at times, women aren’t always true to themselves. In an attempt to live up to organisational and societal norms and expectations, their behaviours sometimes go against their own values. However, this can cause more harm than good. It takes a lot of energy going against what is natural for you and to behave in a way that is out of sync with our true values, priorities, hopes, characteristics and style.
We have all been made aware how being authentic in our career and life, is important. By being authentic, it creates a healthy alignment between your values and behaviours that can re-energize life at work and at home. With the rise of technology and a drive to succeed, we are all working harder, and longer hours. Work-life balance ceases to exist anymore. They are integrated as one. Our work impacts our home life, and vice versa. So, how does this impact choosing an authentic path?
Women who are authentic have a good understanding of themselves and their priorities. Firstly they attend to what is important to them rather than what might be important to other people. They are clear about how they feel and what they need and prefer. They know what works for them, and what doesn’t.
Think about authenticity as a condition or dynamic balance- not a personality trait. As a goal, it is not clearly defined like earning a degree or certification. And once you achieve authenticity, it doesn’t mean it is yours to keep. You have to work to remain authentic– by reviewing your priorities, your values and choosing behaviours to align with those priorities as your circumstances change. As with professional development and learning, it is an ongoing priority that we need in order to remain updated in our fields, staying in the loop and being at the forefront of our industries.
With my clients, not only do I work on the skills they need in order to be successful in their areas of expertise, I work on the softer skills- like building their authentic brand- Discovering who they are and how this can impact their career by making the right choices. I believe it is the key to success in your chosen field. If we are chasing a path that is not aligned to our values or who we are as our authentic self, it causes burnout, stress and fatigue. Why? Because we are fighting against what is natural for us. It is very difficult to develop certain capabilities when you are suppressing your true values and style and are distracted by inner conflict.
By living a life strongly connected to your values and belief system, it promotes growth, learning and psychological well being. When we are acting in a state that is authentic to us, it feels more natural and creates harmony.