Now that you have an idea of what authenticity is and how it leads to happiness, we need to reevaluate your worldview belief systems. The first stop along this journey is to take some time to reflect on what you know, believe, think you believe, what your truth is, how you arrived at these beliefs and truths, and whether they will continue to serve you along your journey as an authentic leader.
Others’ truths that we have come to believe, or what we think we know (assumptions) are often hidden as beliefs. Unless these beliefs are tested periodically, we can be channeled into narrow viewpoints that hinder growth. What we believe drives our thoughts, our thoughts drive our emotions, our emotions drive our behaviors, and our behaviors drive our results. When we know something, we feel it in our very being. When we know truth, we establish a new “truth belief.” Get in touch with what you know; it will lead you to your truth!
For many, this process becomes too difficult or fearful. When I felt that way, I had to recognize that my deep old patterns of thinking and living were being questioned, and that was unsettling, but I have not yet found another way to my truth. In my quest for truth, I had to challenge every belief, every perspective about the world I ever held. In the process of dissecting and feeling into truth, I also saw how it evolved over time. Time allows for some to shift their perspectives to either embrace new values or to look for ways to successfully operate in an ever-changing complex world. Some people stay in their worldview once they become adults, and find accepting others viewpoints difficult, or have a hard time adapting and changing as the world gets bigger and more interconnected.
Our feelings are guideposts to truth. They are the mechanism we use to ‘feel’ what is right and best for us. Reconnect with them, remember how reliable they can be, and use them to reaffirm what you know is true for you. As you remember your truth, use this wonderful ‘sixth sense’ you possess, and be prepared to see things with new lenses.
Many scholars have studied these questions: “What makes a mature human being?” “Why do people do what they do?” “What are the intrinsic motivators of human beings?” Many philosophers and scholars have made answering these questions their life’s work, and they have left us with the same opportunity to explore our own answers. I have studied the Spiral Dynamics model to better understand human motivation and evolutionary stages. Initially developed by Claire Graves, Don Beck has expanded on the model and his research reveals that over 90% of the world’s population falls under four main worldviews, where each society seems to gravitate to one predominant worldview, and how the others either are pulling it ahead into a new future, of keeping it safely in some imagined ideal past state.
Take a read on the following four main worldviews and see where your perspective falls. See which is one is your predominant perspective, and what other aspects you are open to that are in the others. See which views you disagree with, or reject. Get clear on your own root belief systems.
Impulsive, powerful, egocentric and heroic characterizes the mindset in this worldview. This was the first emergence of an exclusive, extraordinary egocentric trait and was generally found in powerful tribes, empires and kingdoms. Powerful beings dominate the scene and everyone is under the control of one powerful leader or group. Feudal lords rose up during this time with empires established in power and glory. In this world, the powerful orders, the underling obeys. This trait or consciousness can be seen in feudal set ups, gang leaders, rock stars, people in frontiers or rebellious youth.
The world is under the dominance of one Order, a religion or an all-powerful bureaucracy. Those who follow the righteous order are blessed with heavenly life, while those who object to it are subjected to cruelty and punishment. Everyone has to follow the code to live in communion with the society and reap the benefits of being faithful. There is only one right way to think and law and order is dictated by that right way/order. May often be predominantly fundamentalist, conventionalist and conformist way of life. This trait or level can be found in religious groups, puritan America, Dickensian England, totalitarian societies groups that stick to moral codes.
This is the terrain of the over-achieving, scientific and strategic society. Dominated by self-will, it marks the growth of the society through scientific and industrial revolution. Instead of succumbing to the herd mentality, people are individualistic, rational and achievement-oriented. Materialism dominates here and the world is a place where science rules over everything. This trait can be seen in the Wall Street, in the upwardly-mobile middle classes of the world, in modern capitalist industry, and in emerging Asian cultures.
Predominant traits are communication, networking, human bonding and ecological sensitivity. Set against hierarchy and social institutions, this level achieves lateral bonding and linking and egalitarianism among groups. There is belief in and acceptance of pluralism, diversity, multicultural society, relativistic value systems etc. Value communities or groups are formed based on shared sentiments carry this trait. This can also be found in movements like Greenpeace, animal rights, eco-feminism, human rights movements, and diversity movements.
There is also an emerging fifth worldview, that approximately 3-5% of the population are either comfortably in or evolving in to. See what your sense is about this new worldview.
According to the Spiral theorists, this wave started around the 1950s. It accepts all kinds of belief systems and forms, bases itself in pluralities and integration of pluralities. Everything is considered to be complementing its opposite trait, not an either/or, but a both/and mentality. Knowledge and competency should supersede power, status, or group sensitivity. Where the earlier levels were centered on survival mechanisms, the Integrative system focuses on the quality and well-being of the stakeholders within the system. Improving congruence of core values between all groups, aligning various worldviews around a common vision, and creating cultures consciously by pursuing personal and professional development and mastery is the challenge that fuels the leaders within this worldview.
Being comfortable in your truth is a key element of authenticity, even if it means that you are different from others or you have evolved past prior levels of thinking. Being open to change if/when your current worldview no longer offers the best solutions to new problems is one of the most difficult things we humans undergo. Yet if the world changes and we cannot, then discovering the next best solutions to ever-complex issues will be painful and expensive. As Gandhi said, “It’s up to us to be the change we wish to see in the world.” All change begins with opening up one’s mind to new possibilities.
Look at where you are more set in your view, which other worldviews you lean into, or are interested in expanding more in to. Either way, being authentic is much easier than trying to please others and go with the flow of everyone else.
“If you are not a questioner of your own reality,
if you are not thinking for yourself,
then who really are you?”