Passion will always move you in the direction of your authentic self, but how do you find what you are truly passionate about?
- Know what comes most naturally to you
- Give up trying to be good at things that, actually, make you feel bad
- Stop criticising yourself for not being enthusiastic about certain things
- Stop ‘faking it to make it’
- Realise what feels amazing when you do it
- Ask yourself ‘what do you do best, that gives you a ‘rush’ whilst you are doing it?’
- Ask yourself ‘what do you have to force yourself to do?’
- Know what you are tolerating, then tolerate less
- Admit what it is that you would like to never, ever do again
- Think about what could you talk about late into the night with like-minded people without running out of things to say
- Think of which activities make you feel really useful, alive and strong
- In terms of things that you do, when do you feel most like yourself?
- And finally, ask yourself what do you want to be known for?’ Learning to live genuinely is all about getting clear on how you want to feel, and then doing the things that make you feel that way. How do you do this?
- Learn to listen to, and trust your heart, your intuition (when you simply know something without knowing exactly how you know it). Your intuition is never wrong, although your interpretation of it may be incorrect.
- Connect with your body: pay attention to the signals it is giving you. Notice when your stomach ties up in knots, when your shoulders tense up, when you get tightness in your chest or when your heart feels warm and open. These are important clues our body is giving us to know what works for us and what doesn't, telling us when we are on the right path and when we are not.
- Notice your ‘self-saboteur’, which is the voice in your head that says, "you are not good enough" and other negative thoughts. The saboteur's job is supposedly to ‘protect’ you from taking risks and making changes. By recognising that the negative voices aren't you and aren't really true and being able to disregard them is a powerful tool.
5. Coaching Application
I. Why is ‘genuineness’ so important in a coaching relationship?
As a coach, creating a safe space is essential for the client to feel that you, as their coach, are genuine and that they can trust you.
People trust authentic people and the consistency of their authenticity. To build this trust as a coach, you must ‘be yourself’ (and not play the role of ‘professional coach’) so that the clients can feel the honesty and the integrity of who you are. You should be the model of what it means to be real and honest, so you allow space to create more relationship and more trust; your clients will feel that theycan ‘lean on a solid wall’ and not just a flimsy facade.
II. How can a coach identify a lack of genuineness in a client?
This power tool can be used if during the coaching contract or conversation your client brings up issues or challenges such as:
- feeling stuck / lost / out of synch
- feeling that they are not doing what they ought to be doing (career wise or in their life)
- feeling overwhelmed with a situation they can't see a way out of
- feeling they are not living their own lives (but someone else's)
- feeling empty: a sense that ‘something important is missing’ in our lives
- Having difficulties in relationships (with boss, with teenage children, with friend, with colleague, with partner…)
- “I’m having a difficult relationship with…”
- “I don’t seem to understand my xxx and they don’t understand me”
- “I can’t relate to xxx kind of person, because I’m not like them”
Usually when someone is not being authentic, they have difficulty relating with other people. If I’m having trouble relating to others, it’s because I’m having trouble relating to myself’ – it is highly likely that I am not being fully honest with myself.
Others teach us what we need to know about ourselves.
We have a need to get away and not face what we don’t like about ourselves. People who are not being authentic may typically:
- want to hold control
- avoid talking / connect (i.e. no eye contact)
- blame (external situations)
- boast (over sell themselves)
- be compliant (over-agreeing with everyone) and contradictory
- be inconsistent (say one thing and then do another)
- give excessive affirmations
- give too much importance to other people’s expectations of them
How does this mean they are not being authentic?