When we enter this world, each of us begins our education. Aside from our parents, everyone we encounter shares (and imposes) conventions, values, beliefs, and perspectives of the “new world” we’ve entered, and how it really works. As the youngest member in a family of nine, I can assure you — it’s true! This fact highlights one of the biggest challenges we face throughout our lives: how do we determine who we really are when we’re constantly shaped by various viewpoints? For many, this dilemma often continues through their school years and beyond – into the workplace. It continues until one is conditioned to “color within the lines” even if it conflicts with our desire to be who we really are – to be authentic.
The power of authenticity cannot be underestimated. Being true to oneself has many rewards: ease, clarity, focus, and confidence. Possessing these qualities in a job interview, for example, can be very advantageous. However, being unauthentic can be disastrous. Take the two video examples below – Carly Fiorina and Gordon Brown. How did their unintended faux pas impact their authenticity? When people see you for who you really are, and it doesn’t match the person you say you are, you’re bound to disappointment yourself and others. This is true in friendships, marriages, and especially careers. So next time you step into the interview room – remember to always be yourself, be authentic, and dare to color outside the lines.