Most people have three “versions” of themselves. There’s the version of themselves that they allow other people to see. There’s also a version of themselves that they show themselves when looking in the mirror. Then there’s the authentic version of themselves that they rarely allow anyone, sometimes including themselves, to see.
One thing that separates less successful people from more successful people is that the most successful people show themselves, and other people, their authentic version far more often than less successful people.
Some people don’t show themselves their authentic version because they have never contemplated what that version looks like. For instance, when asked to state your core values, those values that make you the person you are, how quickly can you identify them? Core values are your guideposts in life that guide, or should guide, every decision you make in your life.
More than anything, the decisions you make in life will determine the life you get to live. When you know your core values it is far easier to make even the biggest decisions. If you have not taken the time to identify your core values you could end up living a life of contradictions and indecision.
Core values are those values you will fight for. Your core values are qualities or standards that govern your behavior. Your principles are rules or beliefs that guide your actions. Whether you can state your core values or not, your principles are based on those values. Your core values are the foundation for your principles. Your core values are your deeply deeply deeply held beliefs that you carry with you regardless of who you are with. Regardless of what you are doing or where you are doing it.
People who tell you that holding on to anything thing that tightly makes you inflexible have not yet invested the time to identify their own core values.
I am not a Bernie Sanders fan. At all. But I admire him. Anyone who is fine with being on the losing side of a 99-1 vote in the United States Senate has clearly identified their core values. They are also living them.
One of the reasons there are so few Authentic Leaders is that very few people in leadership positions have ever taken the time to identify their core values. They can’t show their authentic self to others because they can’t even show it to themselves. They attempt to live the life of the person they see in the mirror.
A mentor, one who is truly invested in your success, can help you bring your core values to the surface so you can see the real you. So you can live a life in alignment with your core values. That alignment is a big big deal. When your thoughts, words, and actions all align you’ll understand why you do what you do and why you respond to others the way you do.
Living a life aligned with who you really are guarantees a life well lived. It ensures a life lived on purpose for a purpose. And this much I can promise you…there is no better way to live.