How many of you ever had that feeling of “S**T happens, Fine! But why does it always happen to me?” Raise your hand if you feel the same. Yep! Me too. Well, the old me, me too. Just recently I found myself in a situation where a coworker of mine had a panic attack at work. And it just so happen to be during my shift, under my watch.
It was really a very typical Thursday for me at work. I had my usual routine in the morning, I was listening to a podcast episode on the four noble truth of Buddha while driving to work and everything seem so perfectly calm and peaceful. Of course, I knew whom I was working with that day but that actually didn’t bother me at all that morning. I was peaceful and quiet. The person who I had to work with that day is not known to be the most efficient person for this area. I walked in and immediately was expected to dive right into work. In the mist of all that chaos, I learned that she had a panic attack.
Soon after the incidence happen, rumors at work spread. The attitudes of how people treated me also changed depending on which version of rumors they have heard. It went from facts to speculations. Some suspected that I had yelled at the person and therefore caused the panic attack.
“Nope! That wasn’t me.” I said.
It was interesting to see the range of actions and reactions of people. Most sympathized with the “victim” regardless of the facts while others looked at it as competency issues with facts.
Ever since the incident, Human Resource department got involved and had to conduct investigation towards what truly had happen that Thursday morning. Several people were interviewed and questions about their working relationship with me vs others came up.
At this point, the old me would definitely wonder Why? Why me?
But wait. Is it me or is it as simple as how other people react to me?
Ah. There it is. Authenticity.
What is authenticity? Someone who is authentic how do they look? What have you noticed about someone who is authentic? What are some of the qualities you have noticed/encounter when you meet authentic people? For me, authenticity has to do with whether or not you are being honest. Honest to yourself, honest to others, are you able to speak up when time needed? Are you able to back yourself up with actions?
Authenticity had gotten me in trouble many times. I am not afraid to speak my mind, I won’t shy away from expressing my emotions and I will definitely stand up for any injustice in front of me. Authenticity puts you at risk for being judge. Some may perceive your honesty as being rude or not nice. It would also puts you in many difficult conflicts because there’s always someone out there who may not agree with what you say and how you say things but they don’t want to rude.
So, Yes. As long as you choose to be authentic, it will always open your door to trouble, conflicts and difficult situations.
But in my opinion, authenticity is a unique quality one can ever possess. It is not found in everyone, everywhere these days. We’re always trying to be nice to people, we don’t want to say things that are rude to people even though we may think otherwise. We don’t want to use certain terms because they are too obviously politically incorrect. It’s much easier to be amiable, sociable and agreeable. Right?
No, I am not trying to convince you that starting tomorrow we should all go out there and be rude to people and tell them what we really think. What I am saying is whenever you get involve with these difficult situations instead of thinking “It’s my fault”, “I am always in trouble”, “this only happens to me.”, I am saying we should take a look at ourselves. Perhaps things happen more often to you than others because you actually possessed a very unique quality which others may be lack of or hidden away from themselves. What I am saying it, it’s okay to stand up for injustice, it’s okay to express yourself, it’s okay to show your emotions and feelings to others. That’s what makes you, you.
Well, one thing I have learned from this incidence was that it’s completely okay to be authentic. There is no need to change who I am. However, there are other qualities I need to work on to elevate myself. For example, Flexibility. Being flexible with the approach of which I express my authenticity.
There’s analogy I learned as I shared this experience on my instagram account the other day.
Flexiblity is like being the grass.
Having the root of authenticity but flexible to the wind of change.