True Story: I didn’t used to be able to tell the difference between people just talking the talk or walking the walk. I was naive, and I believed people when they said what mattered to them.
You may have noticed that everyone and their brother is talking about authenticity, about being real and genuine, and about caring and real connection. But you may be confused, as I was, as to why your actual experience with them did not jive with that talk. Like, at all.
This used to perplex me to no end, how I would see these people writing and sharing these beautiful messages, where it seemed like they really got it, that they really understood those values that I shared and that were so important to me, but then when I interacted with them, I felt something entirely different.
For awhile, I thought perhaps something was wrong with me. It was my fault somehow. But the reality was far more simple.
The fact is that what people SAY and what people DO are often two entirely different things. People readily espouse their values, but rarely do their actions actually line up with those values.
This was absolutely revolutionary to me (thanks, mama). Suddenly there was a lighthouse, and I could begin to discern who was just talking the talk, and who was walking the walk.
Not only that, but I could begin to keep a critical but compassionate eye on myself and any areas that I, myself, am not walking the walk. People love to talk about showing up, about real connection, about authenticity and vulnerability… but it’s much much harder to put into real practice. Because we’re human, and this shit is hard! It presses all our buttons and it’s going to bring up stuff we don’t want to deal with or see in ourselves.
None of us is expected to be perfect, we’re all learning and doing the best we can with where we’re at, but it behooves us to notice, in this ever-glistening-technological-and-social-mine-field, whether what someone SAYS and what they DO, are aligned.
SO IN REGARDS TO YOUR BUSINESS THERE ARE 3 THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WITH THIS:
1. If you’re seeing your values out there being used as buzz words by every single other business you see, take heart, because so long as you are walking the talk you will continue to shine in the most powerful marketing tool known to any business, anywhere, ever: word of mouth referrals. People who’ve had the privilege of your ‘walk’, letting others know. That is the kind of business that’s sustainable.
2. If there are people in your life and business that talk a really good talk, but repeatedly treat you like you don’t matter… trust your instincts. Find people who DO show up around those values — OR — make peace with the fact that that person is where they are, and that it’s not personal (so you can stop beating yourself up about it).
3. If you have set out to create real connections, relationships, authenticity and transparency in your business, but you’re finding those things harder to navigate in reality than in theory — hang in there baby. It will get easier.
Here’s the thing though, when you open the door to walking the walk, and not just talking the talk, there is gonna be a lot of flaming bags of poo to step in as you make space for those things to grow. But grow, they will.
The uninspiring reality is that it takes a lot of flaming shit to get to the good stuff we’re really wanting in our businesses and lives. But you’ll get there.
And you’re not alone.
And if there are those not walking the talk with you, and it’s hitting really close to home or your heart, if it’s one of those ones that really, really hurts… just let that grief wash over you.
Mourn the loss of that support or connection you really wanted, and really thought you needed, and when you’ve let yourself feel it all, for as long as you need to feel that… go ahead and find a way to give it to yourself.
Take what you wanted them to give you,
and find another way to let it in.
What you wanted wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t too much, that person, or persons, just isn’t capable of giving it to you right now. But it’s okay, you’re okay. And they’re okay too. We all need to learn how to let ourselves actually have the things we are wanting.
The REAL is far more messy than the IDEAL, but you will recognize the real when it challenges you instead of just comforts alone. You will recognize it when it puts you in touch with something inside that you’ve been missing. You will recognize it because its joys will far outreach its pains, and you will know it to be worth every stumble, fall, and flaming bag of poo.
The real authenticity shows up as it is, offers what it has, and nothing more. That’s why you trust it.
But in a world of false fronts and fake news, where everyone and thing is shouting that they’re the real deal, you’ve got to take the time to check your gut, and whether or not their actions are actually lining up with their words.
And then you’ve got to check yourself too.
Be the change you want to see, and don’t worry about the screamers. Authenticity doesn’t shout… it shines.
It shines in the simple act of showing up, and following through.