Life, Leadership and Business

Friday, 25 September 2015

Authenticity


I have had a constant 15 year battle to be true! No, I am not talking about speaking honestly. I am not even talking about acting in an honest manner that shows integrity. These things are second nature to me and I assume that those around me do their work and conduct business in a manner that promotes honesty and truth. This battle that I have is more personal than integrity and honesty. This battle is less about truth and more about congruence. What is congruence? Wikipedia states that congruence is the state of agreement , or a state achieved by coming together.


I clicked into my ability to inspire and lead people into connecting with their personal vision and purpose as a young man. I spent my life assisting people identify and connect to their core passions in a manner that gave meaning and direction to each of their lives. I designed my own analysis instruments to assist people to uncover how they think, learn and relate. I designed tools to help individuals cope, stretch and achieve. My God-given mission was to be a tea spoon. I was designed to stir and mix potential, passion and capacity in a way that the person could no longer contain it in mediocrity, having them explode into their personal greatness.

Then life happened. A series of unfortunate events occurred, that were beyond my control, and caused me to lose faith in myself and in humanity. I shunned public interest. I quit raking in money, as wealth draws attention. I lost the majority of relationships I deemed as essential at that time. I quickly turned into a hermit, seeking solace and security in my own home. I found a life partner that shunned the crowd's attention and moved to a beat of her own making. We lived in obscurity for 15 years, living just above the bread line, but more importantly - below the radar. I worked for myself, creating my own income and work conditions. It was however a mere speck in comparison to the lifestyle and income I had earned living my calling.
During this period I battled to ignore the call to be me. If the conversation ventured near my favourite subjects, I would quickly take over the conversation with passion and information. People often commented that I should become a trainer or a self development coach, little did they know. It wasn't easy trying to live in the shadow of who I was (am). In fact, it was quite painful. The pain was reflected through my impatience of the loved ones that surrounded me. I had a low tolerance for fools. Arrogance made me develop unrealistic expectations of my partner. She eventually got sick of my grumpy, complaining self, and left me. Rightly so.

For the second time in my life I felt like I had been deserted, rejected by mankind. This time, however, it had more to do with my own behaviour than uncontrollable circumstances. My bad attitude towards life and myself caused me to lose the love of my life. I had pushed the most important people in my life away. I can't tell you how much that stings. I take responsibility for making the person I loved, more than life itself; turn against me, wanting nothing but distance between us. She went, taking our child, my pride and joy with her.

Sounds like the end of the story is close, doesn't it? Well, it is the end of the story of my life with her. She went on to find happiness and recently married. For me, it was a wake-up call. A call to evaluate, engage and become the person I intended. I had to have a long, hard look at myself. I discovered that I was incongruent with who I was on the inside. I was not living the "true" me. You probably figured that already in the short time you have been reading, but it took me 18 months to figure that a large part of my life was lived half cocked,  disengaged.
Today I strive to have my behaviour, actions and relationships more congruent with who I am on the inside. Reflecting who I really am through my behaviour is a daily battle. There is a lot of pressure to conform to society's norms and standards.  I have realised that I play down my potential, my capacity in order to "slot in" with those around me. I have owned and declared sins and weaknesses that in truth had no hold on me, so that I could fit in with the surrounding life average and expectations.  


I attended a course hosted by Angela James on the second last weekend of September 2015 (Read my testimonial on her site here). On this course I met a word - Authenticity! Authenticity concerns the truthfulness of origins, attributes, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions. (As defined by Wikipedia). I am now on a mission to align behaviour and actions to my internal values, beliefs and considerations. I have taught values and beliefs for over 25 years. It's time I connect to them and live them in a real and personal way.


I intend to achieve this congruence by exercising the following:
1. Self Evaluation: Evaluate my personal Roles and Values. This I will do through my own instruments that I have developed a long time ago (I will share with you too, if you like) and some that have been developed by others for the purpose of self reflection. I will also evaluate how well my actions and behaviours communicate these values and roles.

2. Vision: My job is to be a tea spoon. My vision is to stir as many people as I possibly can, to align themselves with Roles, Values and Purpose. The roles that I have, the values that I hold as true are geared to take me towards this vision and to be extraordinary in my mission. Once you have evaluated your roles and values, ponder what direction these could/would/have taken you in life. This could be your vision. After all, everything is for a reason, right?

3. Authenticity: Daily I check that I am true to who I am, in what I say, in what I do. I ask: Am I being true to who I am? If so, AWESOME! If not, I align myself so that my roles, values and behaviour are congruent, in agreement.

4. Let Life Happen: I am no longer going to fight off and protest to what my vision has install for me. I embrace it, fully owning it, and growing in humble pride. (Lol, I know!). I will not run from who I am, I will not disown what I am capable of, I will not shy away from the greatness that is within.

This is the path I chose at the start of my adult life. I lost it along the way. Happily, I have reconnected to who I really am. I invite you to join me, not in viewing my engagement, but engaging in your own authentic self, clicking into your own greatness and purpose. Please, join me in connecting to our greatest potential - making a difference!
Please read this great quote below -  
Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

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