Unfolding Your Best Authentic Self

By David Ryback, Ph.D.

Do you ever wonder what you really have to offer the workplace?  What knowledge, talents, skills you have that could benefit others?  If only such knowledge, talents and skills were recognized by others!  Well, how about you, recognizing your own gifts in yourself?  You see, others will recognize whatever is placed before them in an inviting proposition.  It’s not the others that fail to recognize what you have to offer, it’s … you guessed it … yourself!  Awareness starts at home, with the best measure of what special contribution you make essentially because of your unique person. Authenticity is the capacity to be open to changes and to roll with the punches to bring out your best resources to fit the challenge at hand.

“How do I use who I am on earth for a purpose that’s bigger than myself?” asked Oprah Winfrey in a Newsweek article on leadership for the 21st century.  “My answer always comes back to self.  There is no moving up and out into the world unless you are fully acquainted with who you are.  You cannot move freely, speak freely, act freely, be free unless you are comfortable with yourself.”  Jack and Suzy Welch, in their opinion column in Businessweek, made a similar point when they referred to authenticity as “the foremost quality business leaders must possess.”

Each of us has more to offer than we realize.  Our age, race, gender and educational achievements do identify us.  But with the authenticity they are less likely to limit us.  Given our age, gender, race, etc., according to simplistic and outmoded thinking, we ought to think in a certain way so as not to upset our place in the status of things; to harbor a certain philosophical approach; to allow others to see our behavior as predictable, and easy to manipulate.  But, becoming more aware of our emotional resources in terms of self-awareness and openness to change (agility), facing the reality of our potential, we can liberate our thinking from this delusion and become much more adaptive to whatever environment we find ourselves in.

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