In the past four months, the personal challenges have been abundant when I try to answer those questions. Inherently a trusting individual who continually steers toward finding the good in everything and everyone, the wind has been knocked out of my sails a few times now rather harshly.
As a result, I’m in the midst of doing a serious assessment of where I’ve been and where I want to explore next. People and places that had once been given my trust without hesitation now have forced me to question my internal radar and ability to read people, but also my own authentic self-identity as well.
An online article that helped reassure my inner Melissa was first posted by Psychology Today in Aug. 2016. It noted that “authentic people possess a number of common characteristics that show they are psychologically mature and fully functioning as human beings.”
The article then provides a list of 7 qualities of true human authenticity, stating that authentic people…
- Have realistic perceptions of reality.
- Are accepting of themselves and of other people.
- Are thoughtful.
- Have a non-hostile sense of humor.
- Are able to express their emotions freely and clearly.
- Are open to learning from their mistakes.
- Understand their motivations.
(For me — check, check, check, check, needs a bit more work but getting there despite massive quantities of betrayal over these past 4 months, check, & finally mostly yes.)
I have been struggling with what my next steps should be in my career after an unexpected turn of events, feeling the overwhelming guilt of a daughter who is trying to be a caregiver to her mother and perhaps not doing it so well, redefining what my role should be as a parent to my grown children, and trying to rise to the challenges of first-time home ownership with my husband. Oh, and I also had my bank account nearly emptied right at Christmastime, just to further challenge my faith in humanity.
A recent meeting with one of my most cherished friends put some things in perspective for me. Her words helped solidify a restored faith in my ability to confidently work with words in ways others simply cannot. She helped me rediscover my mission, to regain focus on what my vision for career success really is.
Everyone has a story, a message, something they need or want to say; it is my mission to help each person I can say whatever it is they need to express in the best way possible.
Conversely, the article noted that inauthentic people…
- Are self-deceptive and unrealistic in their perceptions of reality.
- Look to others for approval and to feel valued.
- Are judgmental of other people.
- Do not think things through clearly.
- Have a hostile sense of humor.
- Are unable to express their emotions freely and clearly.
- Are not open to learning from their mistakes.
- Do not understand their motivations.
(And fortunately, I do not identify with any of the 8 qualities listed for inauthenticity.)
Where are you at on these lists? Are you sure about that? And where do the people that help move and shake your world fall? Food for thought…