I tweeted this a few days ago and it seems it resonated with many people. I have just felt so uncomfortable in spaces where we are pretending to be cool, or pretending to be farther along than we really are. I crave resonating conversations, belly laughs, and opportunities for true growth. In a time where we are constantly bombarded with interpretations of real life through social media, I think it’s more important now, than ever, to surround yourself with authentic, genuine people.
I work in a creative business and my counterpart is in the music industry. These industries are full of fake people. That may be harsh, but unfortunately it’s the truth at the end of the day. People lead with what they do and will find their escape if what you do, is not on a level that they think will benefit them. I’ve seen it happen. We bolster fake smiles and “we should work soons” only to never follow up and awkwardly run into one another at the next event.
I have never seen so many people be so proud to identify themselves by what they do. “Hi, I am such and such and I work for XYZ.” But who are you? Really? Do you even know? I’ve learned that it is so much more beneficial to get to know people as people, first. All these years of networking at events in many ways have been useless. Unless we actually make some type of personal connection, we have probably forgotten more people, than we have made meaningful connections. It’s the moments when you find a commonality like “Aw man you went to Central too?” or “I love to write as well, but I’ve been afraid to get into it.” Those are the true and honest moments, when you know that you may actually connect after this encounter.
I heard someone speak recently about how so many people are only focused on what they can get out of a situation instead of what value they may be able to add. And that is so apparent in our interactions with one another. We’re only focused on what our dating partners can bring to the table, neglecting what we lack, we want to crowd the information highway with celebrity gossip instead of meaningful banter, and we parade followers and retweets like that’s what really makes us whole.
I always wondered why elderly people literally just say anything that comes to their mind and I’m really starting to get it. I am in no way saying I’m elderly. LOL. But the older I get, the less time I have for the bull crap. You don’t have to tell me things because they sound good or try to spin me. Lord, I hate when people spin me. I can handle it, believe me. And I want you to be able to handle it as well if I am open and honest with you.
I only want to be around real people. People that actually follow up when they say they will. Those that have learned that vulnerability is really strength. Those that recognize that transparency is the only real way to impact others. And those that are cool because they just are and not because they are trying really hard to be. I don’t want to have to Instagram every moment and feel like there is a missed opportunity if I forgot to post. I want to actually experience a concert through the lenses of my strained eyes instead of through an iPhone screen. I want to continue to have in person events, not just webinars, where we can actually feel each other’s energy. I guess I want a lot.
Ultimately, I know that the world will never go backwards. We’ll never be able to do away with the inauthenticity that the internet and social media has inflamed. But what we do get to do is choose. I get to choose the company I keep and the one requirement in this circle is authenticity. Shoot, my church is called Authentic Life, I have no choice but to be real with you. I hope that through all my writing and various arenas that when you read the words and meet the person that those things line up. I am striving to be a woman of my word, who is also very thoughtful of the words I extend. We are suffocating in phoniness.
When I first saw this quote I am sure that I probably squealed! It was perfect. It was everything that I had been thinking.
I often say that people confuse knowing a lot of people with friends. There is a big difference. I know a lot of wonderful, great people, but there are few I call friends. That circle gets smaller and smaller the older you get. You just want to be on the same wave, on the same page, and be able to fully and truly let your guard down, to be your true self. With no facade, a bare face that is not beat to the Gods or accolades on the tip of your tongue, you want to be with the people who don’t even have a thought of those things. Who don’t see the stages, or production credits, or site impressions, but just see you.
Have you found yourself being less than authentic? How were you able to correct it? Did someone else have to call you out on it?