From Investor’s Business Daily’s 10 Secrets of Success: #10 Be Honest And Dependable; Take Responsibility: Otherwise, Nos. 1-9 won’t matter.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” William Shakespeare
“Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.” Mary Kay Ash
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who had a great desire to become a helping professional. She needed to attend graduate school in order to pursue her dream. The young woman had completed college several months earlier and explored options for the next level of education. For many reasons, she did not want to venture to another part of the country. There were a number of fine institutions within the capital of her state but none were public. All of them were private and expensive. The young woman did not come from a wealthy family nor did she make much money. She was, however, earnest, hard-working and resourceful and discovered a fascinating program being offered by one of the universities. This particular university partnered with a world-class hospital to provide a fellowship which covered much of the cost of graduate education. The young woman applied to the university and was accepted. She also pursued this program and was granted an interview the spring before the new academic year. Following the interview, the head of the program informed the young woman she would be in touch. Several months went by, and the young woman heard nothing. She began to doubt she would receive the program funding but hoped she would be placed there. With heavy heart, she discussed the matter with her parents. They did not want their daughter to retreat from pursuing this endeavor, and in support, they allayed her fears by saying they would find a way to assist. Two weeks before school was to begin, the young woman became anxious because she had not been notified of where she was to be placed for training. Rather than call the university, she decided to contact the head of the hospital program. The head, Ms. M., was very cool with the young woman. She bluntly stated, “Why should I offer you this fellowship? There are so many others who are far more qualified.” The young woman told her she understood. Ms. M. continued and said, “Would you be willing to take the internship without the financial reward.” The young woman responded honestly and enthusiastically with yes. Ms. M. proceeded to tell the young woman that she would need to avail herself for a few interviews the following day in order to even be considered for the placement. The next day she drove to the hospital and participated in three interviews. Everything went well, and it was clear to the young woman she would receive training at this exceptional institution. She was most pleased about this privilege and did not think too much about the lack of financial support. The young woman finished her vacation, and a few days after returning home, a letter arrived from Ms. M. The letter informed her that she would be receiving the much coveted fellowship while training at the institution. The young woman was beyond overjoyed. With much appreciation, she embarked on her training and never forgot the generosity of Ms. M. and her willingness to offer such a special gift.
What made Ms. M. consider this inexperienced, young woman for such a prize? Enthusiasm? Perhaps, but I would venture to say it was more that the astute Ms. M. witnessed authenticity at its best which is not just being authentic. If we were always authentic, we might bare our souls in ways that might not benefit ourselves or others. No, it is about being the best authentic you! Recently, I heard Michael Port on National Speakers Association’s Voices of Experience who spoke of this, and I would concur! We need to strive to be authentic but in a way which reveals the platinum standard of ourselves. Everyone is unique with their own gifts and talents, and to be truly successful in personal and professional relationships, it is important we strive to be our authentic best. In my earlier years as a therapist, it was difficult for me to maintain the quiet, passive listening stance which is how I was trained. Slowly, with experience, I invited my authentic best to be a part of my work. It was strange to me at first, but I received much positive feedback. My clients had always responded to my warmth, but they felt I gave them the more human side of me. As I say frequently, I am a work in progress which in my humble opinion all of us should be. In my role as a Keynote Speaker, I thoroughly enjoy the freedom of being my authentic best self.
People often get “stuck” because they are not aware of their authentic gifts and talents. Some may remain stymied and never come in contact with their authentic best. Consequently, they are depriving themselves as well as the world of their authentic best. If you are one of those people, go ahead and begin to examine within, practice changing the narrative, and take the risk of being the best authentic variant of you. Stick with this ritual, become “unstuck,” and watch out world! You might dazzle them beyond words. By the way, that young woman of long ago continues to authentically express gratitude and humility for the gift she had received. How do I know this? Well, I am the mature version of her.
Post, M. (2016, September). Out of The Park. Voices of Experience. Retrieved from http://www.Speaker Magazine.com