8 Tips on Being Your Authentic Self in Business

Photo Credit:  Seranya Photography

“Authenticity is complete oneness in our thinking, speaking, feeling and doing. It’s head, mouth, heart and feet all communicating and living the same message.” – Lance Secretan in Motto Magazine

What is it to be your true self at work— not just the person filling a role, acting professional or achieving big project? Are you able to truly be your best and authentic self while maintaining professional credibility and influence? For some people, they believe they must project a certain persona or even “fake it until they make it” in order to get ahead. There is often no room for failure (see my post on The Gift of Failure) or a belief around sacrificing other parts of life in order to get ahead in their career.

I believe it is essential to be who you really are. You must engage in your right livelihood using your gifts and talents while maintaining your values and a sense of life balance. It is important be your authentic self whether you are at work, at home, with your friends or volunteering, but even more so in the workplace where compassion and humanness often get left behind. Here are some thoughts on remaining your authentic self in business..

1. Know Thyself Understand and claim who you are, live in your personal and business values, and know why you are doing what you do. It must be about more than just money, power or position. True fulfillment comes from bringing your authentic self into your work.

2. Love What You Do Find the joy, passion and pleasure each and every day while you are working. Lighten up, have fun and let your enthusiasm be contagious. People want to work with happy, positive people.

3. Be of Service What service are you providing? What problem are you solving? Add value, solve a problem for someone else, and fulfill a need. Get curious and create a reciprocity loop. Be giving and sharing because when you start the loop with someone it fosters connection and moves things forward. It makes others motivated to balance the scale…meaning they want to give back to you too. Successful people give away lots of information, share their experiences and are willing to pay it forward.

4. Maintain Life Balance Create a life you want, not just a business you pursue. Does your work support what you want you life to be like? Feed your soul often and take care of yourself emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

5. Set Boundaries for yourself and others. Don’t sacrifice your self for your work. You need to take care of yourself in order to best serve others. My favorite metaphor for this concept is the rule to put on your own oxygen mask on an airplane before assisting those around you. See my post titled Know Your Line.

6. Build Your Army of Advocates Get Help. You are not meant to do “it” alone. Even Solo-preneurs and creative people such as artists and writers need to build a support team of collaborators, mentors, advocates, and connecters. Be the expert in areas you excel and seek support for your struggles. My assistant maintains my database, newsletters, bank accounts, coaching log and other special projects. I have designers, writers, a coach— and my best friend and mother are on my Excavive Board of Directors.

7. Convey Your Personal Brand Believe in the product and the success that only you can provide. Create a brand that clearly communicates your offerings, core values, and personal style.

8. Keep Going and Growing Learn new skills, expand your knowledge base and beware of becoming stagnant. Have the courage to keep moving your business forward.

How can you create more authenticity in your life today? What is your next best step to creating more fulfillment in your work, based on who you truly are? For tips on understanding how to be more authentic, you can now download my free e-book, “Be Who You Are: Six Ways to Excavate Yourself,” by going to and sign up.
Meet Jennifer: Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Author Jennifer M. Blair is founder of Excavive™ Coaching and Consulting, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work focuses on empowering people to pursue their passions, increase their self-confidence, communicate powerfully and build the kind of lives they want to live. If you love these Blog posts, many have been adapted from her first book, The True You: Tools to Excavate, Explore and Evolve, published in 2011.