Women aren’t always true to themselves. In a vain attempt to live up to organizational norms and expectations, their behaviors sometimes go against their own values. But it’s not easy being a phony. It takes a lot of energy to behave in ways that are out of sync with our true values, priorities, hopes, characteristics, and style. The energy expended trying to come across as something you are not is energy unavailable for work and other activities.
The alternative to this predicament is authenticity—a healthy alignment between your values and behaviors that can reenergize life at work and at home. Women who are authentic have a good understanding of themselves and their priorities. They attend first to what is important to them rather than what might be important to other people. They are clear about how they feel and what they need and prefer.
Authenticity is best thought of as a condition or dynamic balance—and not a personality trait. As a goal, it is not clearly defined like earning an MBA degree. And achieving authenticity doesn’t mean it’s yours to keep. You have to work to remain authentic,
reviewing your priorities and choosing behaviors that match those priorities as circumstances change.