Taking you behind the scenes

My battle between glossy self-image and authenticity.

Taking you behind the scenes
Self-image versus authenticity - who will win? Photo by Mo / Unsplash

I credit Austin Kleon and his book Show Your Work for my website and blog.

[Austin] wanted to create a kind of beginner's manual for this way of operating, so here's what [he] came up with: a book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion.

When I contemplated what my life could be if I became a certified executive coach, I couldn't find a how-to guide online. I was very interested in how to get started so I could ease into it. I was curious what reading to complete to get a sense of what the profession was like. I wasn't able to find very much, and no I was not using Microsoft Bing!

Well, here I am, starting to document my journey back to school, back to learning (and unlearning). I feel exposed and it's part of the process.

Today's reflection - my inner battle between image and authenticity


My battle between self-image and authenticity is not a unique one. On one hand, self-image refers to what I show the world. François has his crap together glossy image. At times, I put a lot of efforts into that glossy me. However, this can be at odds with authenticity, as I feel the need to hide my true self in order to maintain my image...until I can't anymore and my French blood makes me say something... not so glossy.

Self-image can be driven by many things like my desire to fit in and be accepted by others, or to be seen in a certain positive light. I may present a carefully crafted persona - the right watch, clothes and other status symbols. Did I mention I drive a BMW? Yes, yes I do.

Authentic François

On the other hand, authenticity refers to the qualities and characteristics that define me, yes the beautiful unique weirdo that I am. Authenticity feels great, easy and freeing... because it's associated with being true to oneself and living in alignment with one's values, beliefs, and personality. It involves being honest, transparent, and genuine, and is focused on internal factors such as character and integrity.

So what?

The pursuit of authenticity can lead to increased self-acceptance and confidence, as well as stronger relationships and a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment. It's happening for me at work right now. I have so much respect for the people on my team and my leaders. It's also happening to me during my time with Royal Roads. I'm exploring what makes me a good coach. Not everyone's favourite coach (that's impossible), but the best coach I can be for people who see my authentic self and want more, more, more.

Now what?

While self-image and authenticity may appear to be at odds with each other, I think it is possible to strike a balance between the two. Right?

By accepting and embracing my weird unique qualities and differences, and being proud of the things that make them stand out, I can:

  1. Drive a BMW (self-image), and
  2. be authenticity (it's electric and built in a factory that uses only renewable energy).

Here are a few questions that helped me reflect on my battle between image and authenticity, they may help you too.

  1. What are my values and how do they align with my actions?
  2. What are my strengths and how can I use them to my advantage?
  3. What are my goals and how am I working towards achieving them?
  4. What are the things that drain my energy and how can I manage them better?
  5. How do my relationships affect my overall well-being?
  6. What are the things I am grateful for in my life?

In conclusion, my battle between self-image and authenticity is a common struggle. At least, that's what my reading revealed today. It is possible to strike a balance between the two. By embracing my individuality and being true to myself, I feel equipped to pursue both a healthy self-image and authenticity, and experience a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness in life.