Ode to the Authentic
In both personal and professional journeys, this wisdom from Gabor Mate resonates deeply: “The greatest stress comes from trying to be someone we’re not.”
It applies to individuals and organizations alike.
Too often, we sever our connection to our authentic selves, striving to fit into the molds imposed by society, vocation, and work cultures. This detachment creates significant strain and tension within our minds, bodies, and energy.
In my nearly 30 years in business, I’ve seen countless organizations play follow-the-leader or want to become the next (name the great brand) Apple, Google, Amazon, or Patagonia by following the game plan of others. A recent new business inquiry reached out because I’d done work to help a market-leading brand become so, say, “We want you to help us become just like them.”
No, I won’t name the company. And, no, I don’t help organizations become a version of someone else. Instead, I explained that, as a brand and culture strategist, I help them refine, unite, and express the best, most valuable and authentic version of themselves.
When we realize there’s a possible liberation from the ways we’ve been formed by society or a market, we can create objective boundaries between what’s truly ours to be and what isn’t.
Boundaries, while crucial, can’t single-handedly grant us the inner wisdom, self-knowing, or success we seek.
It is liberating to recognize that our reactions to world events, shifting markets, or competition are the catalysts of personal and cultural stress. In the space between stimulus and response shines our ability to uniquely respond in the manner that only we or our company can.
Before transforming, confront how external pressures affect you. Dig deep for the unfiltered truth.
Have the courage to let go of what no longer fits your essence, whether you’re an individual or an organization. Consistently exercising this courage leads to alignment with your authentic self.
Our true adversary isn’t external; it’s the narrative within us, filled with assumptions, old habits, fears, and insecurities imposed by the external world. Embracing this truth is the path to liberation.
In the end, success in both personal and business life comes from embracing your true self. Recognize your unique value and break free from external influences. Your response to outside forces should reflect your authentic self, not societal expectations. This liberation leads to a more fulfilling journey and undoubtedly greater success.
If you found this topic interesting or valuable, here are some related articles for you.
If you want a more trusting team, a culture of belonging or a magnetic brand that attracts more of the right customers, I can help. If you'd like to explore if working together makes sense, drop me a line.
February 6, 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Brand Strategist for Business SuccessRead More >