Have you ever massaged the truth when talking to people? Tried to boost yourself or tried to avoid shame through a small lie? Maybe you’ve agreed with someone when in reality, you didn’t agree at all?
Why Do We Do This?
Everyone has had moments where they’ve stretched the truth, though doing so is not always an ill-intentioned effort. While it may not seem like a big deal, our authenticity is affected. We have the power to make sure that our authenticity shows by facing the fear of being real and allow others to feel comfortable being authentic with us.
The Fear of Being Real
Fear is a powerful deterrent to allowing people to be authentic. Fear of judgment, retribution, and confrontation are everywhere in the world. These can affect everyone’s ability to show their real feelings or share their authentic selves. Knowing that these fears exist and recognizing when you are falling prey to them is an essential first step to understanding and getting past that fear to show your authentic responses and thoughts.
The Iceberg Theory (Getting Past The Fear)
Also known as a writing technique coined by Ernest Hemingway, The Iceberg Theory is the idea that the deeper meaning of a story should not be evident on the surface. Mike Robbins, former pro baseball player, writer, and motivational speaker, discussed in a TEDxYouth talk about the power of authenticity and how the Iceberg Theory can also be a metaphor for authenticity and the realness behind a person.
Think about the tip of the iceberg and that being what you visibly show to people. The emotions, feelings, responses, and ideas a person holds may not be visible and instead hide under the waterline of that “iceberg.” Getting past your fears and being vulnerable takes trust and courage to make that waterline recede and show more of what you want to convey and your feelings behind it. Sometimes you have to be the one that leaps of faith and say what you truly feel. That is what being authentic truly is, letting people see you as you are and also understanding and accepting who you are as a person and how you show up to others.
The Reward of Authenticity
People crave authenticity. They want to hear the truth and know a person isn’t holding back what they feel. When we let someone know how we think and who we are, we are telling that person that we trust them and value them as a person. If we are not showing authenticity, can you be sure that the responses and relationships we build are from the real us rather than the “Tip of the Iceberg” we show to others? We aren’t in this world alone and being vulnerable and showing who you indeed are will help you navigate the world with real friends and people who value you as a person. You’re showing of vulnerability will also allow others to feel comfortable being vulnerable with you and allowing you to see more of who they are below the surface.
Authenticity can help you truly connect with yourself and others by giving you the power to let people know they matter and are trusted by you through your venerability to say & do what you feel. Your true self always shows in the end and trying to hide what you feel or who you really are inside just won’t benefit you. So, just be you! As Mike Robbins says, be yourself because everyone else is taken.