All of us want to work for and with people who are their authentic selves--who don't try to be someone they're not. However, according to Henna Inam, CEO of Transformational Leadership and author of the book Wired for Authenticity, "While most of us want to experience greater authenticity, we don't know how to create it."
In her book, Henna outlines seven specific practices anyone can use to be more authentic in his or her everyday life. Applying these practices will enable you to bring a fuller expression of you to your work and your life--and to be happier, more inspired, and more successful.
1. Befriend your body
While we spend most of our waking hours inhabiting our minds, it's our bodies that project to the outside world the kind of person we are. Your body can project confidence or timidity, power or weakness. Remember: Research shows that up to 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Become friends with your body, and learn how to best project the authentic you.
2. Stay curious
According to Inam, curiosity is an essential habit of authentic people. She says, "It allows us to continue to peel back the onion of who we are being in this moment as we evolve. We discover ourselves in both our strengths and in our weaknesses." Curiosity is already programmed into our DNA--don't let it go to waste.
3. Let go
To discover your true, authentic self, let go of who you think you are. Let go of labels, the limiting beliefs, the resistance to what is, and the things you can't control. Just let go.
4. Give yourself an A
Says Inam, "Giving yourself an A is nothing other than accepting all parts of ourselves--the good, the bad, the ugly, the parts that aren't perfect, the parts that fail, and the parts that don't conform to society's expectations of us." Accept yourself for who you are, and be your authentic self.
5. Choose be before do
It's easy to fall into ruts and to do the same old, same old--even when the results aren't as good as we want them to be. Instead of doing things as a matter of habit, slow down, step back, and consciously choose the actions you are going to take.
6. Face the dragon
To face the dragon means looking fear in the eye, and then taking courageous action. Courage isn't the absence of fear--it's the ability to choose something that's more important to us than the fear we feel. If something is important enough to us, no amount of fear will stop us from achieving whatever goal it is we set for ourselves.
7. Dance with the dream
Dream your best dreams and then dedicate yourself to making them real. As Steve Jobs once said, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice." When we pursue our dreams, we can see and express who we really are.