Compared to 50 years ago, women today are required to fulfil multiple roles and responsibilities. From being a mother to a career woman, a homemaker, a daughter, a wife, a golfer and the list goes on. We can some times be expected to hold up to 10 different hats in a span of 24 hours. While holding these multiple hats, we are also faced with numerous demands and expectations from others, which can often draw us away from being true to who we are. In this article I like to talk about how we can stay true to ourselves whilst fulfilling all these different roles.
Before we tap into the how to, lets look at what “authenticity” is; Psychologist and Professors Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis described authenticity as a ”compatibility between one’s self knowledge and one’s accompanying experience”. They have described authenticity as having 4 components, (1) awareness (i.e. self-understanding) (2) unbiased processing (i.e. being objective in self-evaluation) (3) behaviour (i.e. values, needs and actions are aligned) (4) relational orientation (i.e. being open and honest in close relationships).
Lets look at a couple of steps that may help you move towards becoming your authentic self:
1. Know and accept yourself
In order to be yourself, you must know yourself. Just as Brian and Michael have described authenticity as having the component of ‘self-awareness’ and ‘unbiased processing’, this would mean that you would have to come face to face with the good, bad and ugly within you. When you know yourself, and you can openly accept both your positives and negatives, being authentic starts to become fairly easy and quite frankly a ‘relieving’ way of life.
How: Ask yourself these three questions and answer them honestly: When am I most authentic? When am I most unauthentic? What are my triggers? Reflecting upon this can bring up both pleasant and unpleasant emotions, observe these emotions, allow them to be and confirm to yourself in your own words: “I accept myself for the whole of me.”
2. Act in accordance with your values
One of the most important steps for becoming authentic is ‘behaviour’, the 3rd component in Brian’s and Michael’s description of authenticity. This means that your actions (including speech) are aligned with what you value (some example of values include integrity, compassion, love, etc)
How: Ask yourself: Am I acting in accordance to my core values? If you feel you are not, you can either choose to recognise that you are not and be ok with it (acceptance) or change, so that your actions are aligned to your values.
3. Develop honest and open relationships
Another aspect of becoming authentic is the relational component, of developing open and honest relationships. This may sometimes mean revealing parts of yourself that you feel embarrassed off, and sharing your dreams, failures, true emotions (both positive or negative) with someone.
How: Choose one person in your life whom you feel ready to open up to about your dreams, fears and doubts. Preferably someone whom you are close too but have not shared such information with. You be surprised what they might share with you in return!
Becoming authentic in what we do, whether it is to play golf or dealing with a client, will require some level of self-reflection, honesty and courage. As you live an authentic way of life, you reap the benefits of having genuine relationships, better self-esteem, greater satisfaction in life and an overall sense of wholeness.
The author, Bhali Gill is an organisational psychologist, executive coach, trainer and writer at Corporate Wellbeing. Check out Bhali’s latest program “Journey Within” which will be starting on 7th December. If you would like to contact her about the post or for any other enquires please drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in: golf/WOMEN Magazine (Vol 4; pg 34-35)
Written by: Bhali Gill
Editor: Marie Monozca
Graphic Designer: Teng Fui Lin
* This article was first published in Golf/Women. This is the pre-edit version of the article