There aren’t many books that get to the heart of authenticity quickly, but Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken does exactly that. The author Mike Robbins declares that he ‘teaches people how to infuse their lives and businesses with authenticity and appreciation,’ so for that reason alone I had to check out his work. His straight to the point no nonsense (authentic!?) style presents the case for authenticity as well as describing why we can find it so challenging – families, media, education, comparing ourselves, appearance and fear etc.
Robbins presents the 5 principles of authenticity which serves as a very useful framework. Within this I also valued an exercise (there are lots of great exercises and practices) that Mike describes where one can share a response that stems from this great opening line – ‘If you really knew me, you would know that…’ Here are the five principles…
1) Know yourself
2) Transform your fear
3) Express yourself
4) Be bold
5) Celebrate who you are.
Take a look at Mike in action in this 19 min TEDx talk – I can guarantee his opening question (How many of you consider yourself liars?) will keep you tuned. And remember the way we see the world is a distorted view based on how we judge ourselves. So perhaps the aim of being authentic is to be more accurate in how we view ourselves and therefore others…