I’m not exactly sure what the pressure is like in High Schools anymore. I have been out of school for, well… a long time. I remember my High School Days (way back when) when everyone wanted to be different.
Being different was the big push. Kids wanted to have the best and different back packs, the flashiest jewelry, the neatest designer jeans and definitely the coolest gym shoes.
The shocking surprise came when everyone wanted to "be like Mike." (Remember that commercial? - Yeah I'm showing my age :-))
I remember the commercial of Michael Jordan advertising for Nike. Nike had made a gym shoe style, or basketball shoe that had Michael’s logo on the side of the high top part of the shoe. They were pretty cool – I must admit.
Shortly thereafter, they started making a few other styles that still looked similar to the originals.
So what was so shocking about the Nike’s Michael Jordan gym shoe?
Here’s the kicker - all the guys in school wanted to be "different" and “cool” like "Mike" and most of them went and bought their $150.00 pair of “Jordan shoes.”
Christmas that year was apparently a big hit for Nike because once the Christmas break was over, all the boys came back “looking” like Mike.
Now the way of "being different" had changed. They all looked the same! “Different” became the new normal and its authenticity was lost.
It was weird to me. It shocked me so bad to see the same pair of shoes around the 900+ student body that I chose not to get me a pair – at all. Besides, I wasn’t about to spend $150.00 on a pair of gym shoes that weren’t gonna last but a year or two.
Then I thought: “how is that so different?” “How can I be different?” Then my thought continued: “I want to be more than different – I want to be authentically different.” Yeah! That’s it! Authentically different.
So off I went to look awkward like other “nerds” because I decided not to be part of that “Jordan’s group.”
Being part of that group was OK and all, but it just wasn’t for me. I wanted to be in style, but I was more interested in being classy, sharp, pressed clothes, and clean shoes - know what I mean?
(yeah, I know right! Crazy mentality for a High Schooler. Weird! Well, my kids think so). I believed I looked “cool, though.”
OK, enough about my “coolness” – so let’s move on.
Today, it seems to me that the worse you look, the fewer clothes you wear to school or the dirtier you shoes are, the coolest you seem to be. Weird. – I think.
Anyway, what does this have to do with Authentic Consistency, you might ask?
Dictionary.com defines “authentic” this way: “not false or copy; genuine, real. Entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy:”
That little observation, during my High School years, changed my life and helped me become different to stand out from the crowd. Not for pride sake, but for influence sake.
So I've applied that principle in my marriage, family and work. My goal in life has been to remain authentic in my life and also consistent with my efforts.
This principle has opened many doors of opportunity and has also helped influenced my children.
Sue Anne Dunlevie, from Successful Blogging, said it right – in a recent blog she wrote: “If you are being your true authentic self, it will show. And in being authentic, you never have to worry about being consistent.”
Your authenticity pushes you to be consistent – consistently authentic, because to be genuine, real, trustworthy and reliable you have to stay with it, stick with it and believe in the reality of what you’re doing or becoming.
I have learned that though you may be in a company, community or anywhere dealing with people, your authenticity will cause others to gravitate to that, and relationships will be authentically built.
The end-result is true success in every way.
In my previous blog post I wrote about Jordan Smith: An Example of Authenticity, where I revealed what got him to be the champion of Season 9 of The Voice, which is beyond just public votes.
So how can you be consistently authentic, or authentically consistent?
Here are 3 principles to being genuine or consistently authentic
1. Know your “why.”
Know why you do what you do. But before that, know the “why” or the reason you are who you are and the way you are.
This reality is important because it will be the reason that will drive you to your success in whatever area of your life.
One person I know explains well about your “why” is Michael Hyatt. On a recent post, he mentioned that “If we don’t stay connected to our why… chances are good we’ll burn out and bail.”
Discovering and knowing our why for pursuing our purpose in life is just as important as air is to the genuine functioning of our lungs. It’s a must!
2. Avoid comparison.
As a student, a worker, a parent, a coach and even a child, avoid comparing your success (or lack of) with others.
Quit trying to keep up with the “Jones. ”Know what I mean?
This act is one of the most discouraging thought patterns that humans wallow in. An authentic person raises the bar on himself. (you can Tweet that) He is his own competition. If you compare yourself with others you will discover two things:
a. You become egotistical. Your ego will increase and you think you deserve better. You might even think you’re all that and a bag of chips. Besides, by the time you reach this emotion, you will become critical of others and your success in life will diminish on its quality and its authenticity.
b. You become depressed. You may fall short of the standard that’s been established. Your emotions will be demoralized and your genuineness will revert back to “be just like Mike.” At this point, being like everyone else is just a safe place to be but not a genuine place to exemplify and influence others from.
3. Be confident in your purpose.
Your make up is designed for a specific purpose. There is no other you like you. You are your own design. And that’s good!
Being confident in your purpose will catapult you in being authentic and not have to try to be like everyone else. Being like everyone else often causes failure while others overlook your genuineness.
Being a consistently authentic you, will open doors of opportunities you never even thought of.
Knowing your WHY, avoid comparing yourself to others and being confident of who you were designed to be are essential to becoming consistently authentic.
So forget about the cliché of “be like Mike.” Instead, be like YOU. Be authentic and you won’t have to worry about being consistent – because you automatically will be consistently authentic – just what others are looking for – imagine that.
Question: Can you add another way to be genuine to this list?