Want to know all the things that are not perfect in me? Oh please say no, as we could be here all day!!!
Perfect mum……..Most definitely not!!
Perfect person…….oh please!!! I may train in empathy and emotional development, but I am authentic, so I have an ego like everyone else. I am NOT perfect, but I am authentic.
The mistakes that I have made in communication and decisions in my life are multiple and once more are on going. I have beaten myself up emotionally over the years, questioned and analysed. I have acted in ‘perfect’ ways and then unravelled for some reason and acted in ways that this little voice in my head says ‘what are you doing?’ But through out it all, I have been real and authentically me. Yes that’s right, real and authentic. And in embracing those two attributes I have opened my mind to learn, connect with my vulnerabilities and imperfections and grow.
I know now when my ego is in the driving seat and when it shouldn’t be. I know now the value of authentic communication, because I have experienced enough of both receiving it ….and not, to truly understand how it feels. I have parented in extreme circumstances and following losing a child at 15, I have had to look into my own eyes to see what is left in my soul to work with?
You see even from being a young child, I have noticed and picked up on a lack of authenticity in behaviour. You know, when someone says one thing, but there is something not consistent about their words, tone, body language or actions, often hours, days, weeks, months and even sometimes years, that inconstancy shows more obviously and you realise that what you picked up was real. They were pretending to be perfect, but losing authenticity. At now 47, I have seen this multiple times and can recognise when I do it. I have seen it both in individuals and organisations. I have seen it and felt it, personally and professionally.
Policies and procedures often create this, when they are used try to manage us human beings and stop any errors. People are forced into a tick box world and ‘say all the right things’ but show no real emotions which lacks authenticity. Who among us want a sorry for a wrong doing against us, if we think the person really doesn’t mean it. Does that not communicate the total opposite if authenticity.
To be authentic though, you must be vulnerable enough to understand yourself, accept and own your emotions…..YES ALL OF THEM! You must be transparent. If you don’t feel something, then don’t pretend you do – not always easy, but something worth trying to do – because then you have integrity. As human beings, we recognise fake, but sometimes, we need to be honest with ourselves and recognise when we are slipping into that too….because we all will from time to time, to survive, while we try to understand sometimes complex feelings and interactions.
In my training and consultancy work, which is the epitome of honest and authentic, as I lay myself emotionally bare in demonstrating and cultivating empathy and emotional development, I discuss incongurence and the difficulties that presents when we feel we do match the ‘perfect’ version of ourselves we hope to be. I encourage people to discuss when things have gone well or not, as that is real. Who among us can say that we always act as we should or that we never question ourselves. I am not a someone who talks the talks but has never walked the walk. I know how hard empathy can be and I know what gets in the way sometimes, I had to find it for doctors and a hospital who I felt left my child, and who showed none to me. But I did and it helped….it helped the situation, the outcome, and it helped me long-term too. I know the benefits. And that is what connects me, authentically to those I work with.
Its why…since I was little, to 47 and for the remainder of my life, I will believe in authenticity over perfection. It is honest, transparent and real.
Follow me on @carolynccet
See my website for more information on what I do and how I can help your organisation be authentic www.empathytrainingltd.co.uk
email me on firstname.lastname@example.org