How Authentic People Are Really The Most Fake

Rick Martinez

And how not to fall into that trap

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“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”― Brene Brown

One of the sloppiest, most misunderstood, underutilized, smartest, dumbest words around is “authenticity.” It is not so much the word itself, more so how we’ve totally twisted it to serve our selfish desires and even explain lousy behavior.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you before.

You and a friend are out on the town. Let’s call her Paige. So you and Paige are out and having fun. Just the two of you. Tacos, some margaritas. You bump into one of Paige’s friends. Karen. Her name is Karen.

Karen makes you feel like she has better things to do, and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that you’re with Paige…she just seems dang stand-off-ish and flippant.

You and Paige continue on with your fun when she leans in and says… “Oh, that’s Karen for you. She’s really deep down a great person…you just need to get to know her first.”

Heard that one before? The whole you have to get to know them first crock?

I call bull on that.

It happens in real life. It happens in business. Therein lies the likely birthplace of the whole “be more authentic because I’m really just a lousy human” movement.

I want to talk about why this is so important for you and your business endeavors though.

Folks want to work with, hire and purchase from those they know, like, and trust. That’s a universally held truth across the entrepreneurial world. The best way to earn your prospects’ and clients’ trust is to be authentic in how you present yourself. Also known as being real.

And since it’s a huge topic these days, the question of the day is…what is authenticity?

Other than being overly-used jargon in recent times, being authentic means being true to your essence, not only in what you say but also in how you act. What comes out of your pie-hole and what you literally do should be a match. It’s OK to allow your passion to come out; just make sure it doesn’t seem like a performance. Your honesty and integrity should be apparent every time someone chats with you. More than that, though, is who you are in real-life should absolutely mesh with who you are online as well. Whether online or off, your online persona should match your offline persona when people meet you in person.

Make sense? It does to me, and as simple as it sounds, it should to you as well.

When To Temper and Taper Your Authentic Self

Some entrepreneurs may argue that there’s a subtle nuance to authenticity that really means being yourself in the correct setting. Stick with me here because there’s actually something to this argument.

For example, wearing shorts or flip-flops to a serious meeting where the other attendees are in business attire could be seen as a sign of disrespect, even if that’s what you wear day to day.

Curse words are another potential sticking point. Some folks naturally use curse words. It’s who they are. No blaming here; some of my closest homies drop the ‘F’ bomb pretty often. But droppin’ ‘F’ bombs on social, or emails can be a legit turn-off, even if it is part of your usual banter. It can even come across as disrespectful.

No matter how one defines being authentic, it remains an essential trait for company branding and associating yourself as your company’s spokesperson and face.

Who Would You Want To Give Your Money To?

This is an overused cliché, but it generally holds true.

The used car salesman.

This stereotype gets a bad rep, and even upon the mere mention of this cliché, you likely immediately picture a cheesy fella who is all pleasant to your face but then talks about your wife when you step out of the “I can hear you talking” zone. For lots of folks, that would turn them off from buying because you wouldn’t know if he’s telling the truth or just wanting to sell you a car. And of course, not to exclude folks, but the salesman could easily be a saleswoman too. Heh-heh.

Someone authentic would have a genuine interest in wanting to help you, in this example, by selling you a used car that doesn’t create headaches. They would answer any questions you might have and would find the answers if they didn’t know them right off the bat. They would be honest about the inner workings of the car, get a legit CarFax. They would be disappointed if you walked away from the deal, but you wouldn’t feel pressured to buy something you’re not ready for.

Which of these salespeople gives you the better authenticity vibe in this example?

Authenticity + Transparency: The Key to a Beautiful Relationship

You know what really torques me, though, as I type this up and get ready to publish it?

The fact that this is even a topic of discussion…
The fact that we have to make discernments between people who are real or fake…
The fact that we’ve de-evolved to the point where articles like this, in this day and age, actually share lessons that we should already know because, well, we’re loyal to ourselves and others…

There.

I said it.

I feel better now, and in case you’re wondering.

This is the real me in all my authentic, copywriting glory.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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I'm a freelance writer and a nurse, exploring the world one beer, donut, and experience at a time. Writing about the travel nurse industry and healthcare, with the occasional emphasis on donuts. #NomNom

San Antonio, TX
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