They’re shouting it from the rooftops: you must be your authentic self! It’s not optional anymore, nowadays it seems this is a pre-requisite to any kind of success in anything. And I guess there is some truth in it.
But what does being authentic really mean?
With a question like that my first start to find an answer is always the dictionary. So let’s consult Dictionary.com and find:
[aw-then-tik] Show IPA
1. not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
2.having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
3.entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa.
4.Law . executed with all due formalities: an authentic deed.
a.(of a church mode) having a range extending from the final to the octave above. Compare plagal.
b.(of a cadence) consisting of a dominant harmony followed by a tonic.
6.Obsolete . authoritative.
So being authentic means being the real deal. No more, no less. Sounds simple enough. Why then do we need a call to adhere to it? Is it no me when I’m not authentic? That is, who is me when I’m not me, aka authentic? And how am I not authentic?
I’ve been studying a lecture on “Games People Play” by Alan C. Walter in the last couple of days and there is a song with those words that popped into my head and won’t let go anymore. The lyrics of that song describe beautifully what’s going on. We’re playing games and over that we forget who we really are – the authentic, the real one behind the role player. Here’s the song:
I think this in truth is a very simple “thing” … it goes back to Marianne Williamson’s quote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” (From “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”)
That fear makes us play games so we don’t have to look reality into the face. The reality of being an extraordinary wonderful and beautiful spiritual being with inbuilt greatness beyond measure. We choose identities to define ourselves by like we chose the clothes in the morning. We keep inventing new games, new identities, new rules even. The games people play:
Look-around tell me what you see.
What’s a-happenin’ to you and me?
God grant me the serenity
to jus’ remember who I am.
… remember who I am ….
It gets even more interesting when we look at the origin of the word “authentic”:
1300–50; < LL authenticus < Gk authentikós original, primary,at first hand, equiv. to authént ( ?s ) one who does things himself( aut- aut- + -hent?s doer) + -ikos -ic; r. ME autentik (< AF) <ML autenticus
The one who does it himself! Well if that’s not powerful beyond measure. Because truly what that means to me is that I don’t need another to figure out what I need to do, meaning I don’t need to define myself through another, I can do it myself. And if I don’t need another to define myself I can stop playing mindless, deceitful games I’m unaware of and can start playing worthwhile and big games that are fun for all involved and that I am playing fully aware. Games that, instead of needing another, create new involved realities that are based on love not need. I’m with/talk to/relate to you because I want to not because I need to.
In the lecture Alan talks about how nobody really learns how we best relate to each other. No wonder relationships (of any kind) are problematic at best. It’s trial and error for the most part. Or at least it was. More and more accurate knowledge is emerging and it’s a necessary part for us to gain as much knowledge as we can to learn how to master the art to relate. (Knowledge not to be confused with information of which there is almost too much)
Guess I’ve got a couple of games to unlearn still 🙂
PS: I just need to squeeze a little promotion in here. This being authentic “thing” 🙂 forms part of the Little Voice Mastery Program SalesPartners is offering. It’s a powerful 6 week program that deals a lot with finding out what games you’re playing and how to get to the real you. Because that real you is the one who is capable of being successful beyond measure. Anyway, if you’re interested to find out more about this awesome 1 on 1 program (and perhaps might even go through it with me) hop over here and check it out.