Getting real is the heart of Self-Actualization Psychology-its ultimate vision and objective. In Neuro-Semantics, we seek to unleash this passion for authenticity through training, coaching, consulting, therapy, etc. Our aim is to be real ourselves, and to invite as many people we can, to catch this vision and so to step up to the adventure of becoming a real person.
Why? Because authenticity lies at the heart of being human living with passion and love. Authenticity keeps your humanity fresh and alive and when you’re real, you’ll be more focused on what’s meaningful and inspirational.
It’s the source of true joy.
Not surprisingly, most people intuitively know this. After all, if you really want to offend most people, religious or not, just call someone a hypocrite!
Say, “You are faking it, you’re not for real.” For most people, the charge of hypocrisy is one of the worse things that you can call them. It’s worse than most four-letter words. Why is that? What causes this sensitivity to the idea of being inauthentic? Could it be that we are made to be real and that being real is one of the highest being-needs inside us? I think it is.
If so, then the drive to be, and to become, a real authentic human being is built into you and lies at the heart of your greatest joys. It’s what you are made for. And yet …
And yet this is one of the most challenging aspects of life. For a variety of reasons that I’ll get into in this book, to get real is one of the most challenging and difficult of all experiences. Strange but true. Further, because real is what we become, it usually takes a life-time. The Skin Horse said it takes a long time. He said that it takes a lifetime of loving and being loved. It also involves effort.
“By the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby.”
Yet somehow, and in some way, that’s okay. “These things don’t matter because once you are real, you can’t be ugly.” Apparently, becoming authentically human makes you beautiful. It is a beauty that any and every person can grow into regardless of what they look on the outside. An authentic person is a beautiful person-a person of truth, elegance, congruence, and love.
Get Real Questions
All of this, of course, raises lots of questions-questions which we will raise and address in this book. These fundamental questions regarding authenticity will be our focus here:
What is “real?” What makes you truly real?
How do you get there? What’s involved in the process?
How does a person unleash authenticity?
What are some of the challenges and barriers that you will have to deal with along the way?
What’s the cost of authenticity? What price may you be called upon to pay for it?
What are the payoffs for authenticity?
What are the skills that facilitate authenticity?
How do you coach someone to become real?
Authenticity in the Larger Context
From individually and personally becoming real, there is the larger context
of society that also requires your authentic self. This is true for families, for companies, for associations, for international organizations, and even for governments.
In recent years many of the key thinkers, writers, researchers, consultants, and executive coaches in the field of business have noted the importance of people and companies getting real. For example, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan (2002) speak about this in their work on Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done.
“You cannot have an execution culture without a robust dialogue-one that brings reality to the surface through openness, candor, and informality. …
The reason most companies don’t face reality very well is that their dialogues are ineffective.” (2002: p. 102-103)
Authenticity at all levels-personal and institutionalized-involves robust and fierce conversations. These are real dialogues that cut through the surface presentations and get to the heart of the matter. For that reason, they can be intense, even intimidating. That’s because they are direct and ruthless in going after the truth. Yet if conducted with compassion, even love, the candor they require can be one of the most liberating forces in our lives.
In the following pages, I will quote many others on liberating forces which are the critical success factor of authenticity in leadership and management. The point is that getting real is not just for your own psychological and physiological health and well-being. Yes, it is for that.
Yet it is not only for that. It is for much more. It is also for the well-being of our families, organizations, companies, governments, and societies. In fact, the health and robustness of organizations and cultures depend on the ability of people within them to be real and authentic-to be honest, forthright, and standing for the highest ethical standards. It depends on them being human and humane and in creating a human-based culture that allows people to be real as they work and relate. To describe it is simple, the challenge is to live it.
In the following pages I have extensively quoted Abraham Maslow on this subject. If you want to know why, there is a good reason. He was the primary person who pioneered the new psychology that highlights this area.
It is called by a number of names-Humanistic Psychology, Growth Psychology, and Self-Actualization Psychology. It eventuated into the Human Potential Movement in the 1960s and 1970s. That movement searched for the mechanisms to be able to elicit authenticity in people. Unfortunately, while they found many factors and variables of the self-actualizing process, they did not discover any technique that they could count on working consistently and regularly.
It was only later, in stepping back, reviewing that history, and examining their discoveries that I came upon a process for modeling self-actualization and the self-actualization process of unleashing potentials-the Self-Actualization Quadrants. This model is based on the Meaning and Performance Axes of Neuro-Semantics and enables us to navigate the processes for becoming a real person. This model enables us to specify the skills required for facilitating getting real. So if are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime, go ahead- get your copy and let the odyssey begin!
Part I: Understanding Authenticity
1: Authenticity: The Human Adventure
2: Authenticity: Definition – What it is and What it is not
3: Authentically Living Truth – How Does Authenticity Work?
4: What You Are Not: Self-Expressions and Your Real Self
5: Your Highest Self: Your Multi-Ordinal Selves
6: Blocks to Authenticity
Part II: Unleashing Authenticity – The Multiple Dimensions for Getting Real
7: Unleashing Authentic Conversations
8: Unleashing Your Responsible Self
9: Unleashing Your Physical Self
10: Unleashing Your Transcendent Self
11: Unleashing your Authentic Self
12: Unleashing Your Intentional Self
13: Unleashing Your Emotional Self
14: Unleashing Your Relational Self
15: Unleashing Your Career Self
16: Unleashing Your Wealth Self
17: Unleashing Authentic Leadership
Part III: Actualizing Authenticity
18: The Skills for Unleashing Authenticity
19. Coaching Authenticity
20. Are You Having Fun Yet?
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