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Finding Authenticity in the Corporate World

Navigating the intricate dance between authenticity and success in the corporate world as a person of color has been a journey filled with twists and turns. Over two decades, I've grappled with questions of identity, belonging, and the relentless pressure to be "twice as good" just to secure half of the recognition. The weight of this expectation often felt like a burden, demanding that I sacrifice pieces of my authentic self for the sake of advancement.

Growing up, the mantra echoed by characters like Eli Pope in Scandal was ingrained in many of us: "You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have." It's a sobering reminder of the reality faced by people of color striving for success in predominantly white spaces. But amidst this struggle, there's a hidden gem waiting to be discovered - the power of authenticity.

In my early career, I found myself contorting to fit into professional spaces, doubting the value of my own experiences and perspectives. The fear of not being taken seriously overshadowed my confidence, leading me to withdraw rather than engage authentically. It took the candid advice of a mentor to shift my perspective, reminding me that “your authenticity is not a liability but a strength.”

As I embraced my true self more fully, something remarkable happened: I stopped trying to fit in and instead began to stand out. By being authentic, I attracted others to me, built deeper connections, and ultimately gained the trust of colleagues, clients, and leadership.

In a world where trust is currency, authenticity became my greatest asset.

The journey to authenticity as a person of color in professional spaces is ongoing, but each step taken towards embracing our true selves is a step towards liberation. It's about recognizing that our differences are not weaknesses to be hidden but strengths to be celebrated. And while the road may be challenging, the rewards are immeasurable - for in authenticity lies the power to transcend expectations and forge meaningful connections that lead to success. So, let us continue to walk this path authentically, knowing that in doing so, we unlock a reservoir of trust and opportunity that others often overlook.

✌🏾& 🤟🏾

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