How often do you feel like you are not getting the whole truth, the real and complete story but rather you are just being given a smokescreen, some diet coke version of reality? Intuition and gut feel will always kick in and raise alarm bells and the challenge is to know what those bells are telling you. It could be called congruence – what doesn’t add up, what doesn’t quite make sense?
This is not a woo woo newsletter asking you to dig deep and read people’s minds – far more simple than that it is a challenge to you from both sides of this equation. How often are you sharing a story that you want people to hear or feel they would want to hear rather than saying it straight, authentically and giving the honest truth?
I am reminded of a classic quote from one of Britain’s top Actors, Dame Helen Mirren, “My only regret in life is not telling more people to F*** OFF”. Call it caveman (woman) instinct but we can smell the bullshitters; we know who they are because what we are being told just doesn’t quite add up.
Why do we do this? It’s combination of many things – personal conditioning, ego or upbringing. It’s easy to see how hiding the truth can become a habit and the “mask” becomes stuck – however that doesn’t work for the longer term.
In my days in the corporate world I was guided and advised to hide my personality and become a clone. Don’t show your humour or your passions, just do your job and become a robot. So I wore a corporate mask and hid my individuality. There are others in my life that I really struggled to show my truth to – the honest truth. Take for example the number of people in my life who truly know my financial situation at any one time or another extreme, the number of people that know my true weight – these are simple things that we keep private but if we need help with either of them we need to be open and that isn’t always comfortable.
We all know that people buy people – it’s you that they connect with, it’s you that stands out from the crowd as there is clearly only one of you – so why hide your truth, your authenticity?
There are times when I slip into the “mask” and my closest friends and colleague call me up on it, whereas the rest of the time what you see is what you get, warts and all. I can sleep comfortably at night knowing that. A coaching client of mine described how he works to be the best at his sport and lives life as if there is always a camera watching his every move, if anyone ever replayed that tape he can honestly say he did everything he could to be the best that he could be. Maybe a little extreme for most people but there is a message in here we can all consider when it comes to performing at our best, being totally authentic.
Who is in your team that challenges you when you hide behind a “mask” – when you clearly are not being entirely honest and truthful. If you have given people permission to do this or employed a coach or equivalent to do this, then who is it? Happy to have a conversation with you and see what we can uncover or better still help you throw away that mask!