“How many of you act the same way all the time, no matter who you’re around?” This is one of my favorite class discussion questions I ask my students in my sociology class. In a class of about 200 students, I may have about only 10 or so students (if that) raise their hands. From there I elaborate and ask, “How many of you act the exact same way around your best friend as you do when you’re around your grandma?” Guess how many hands stay up? 🙂
It kind of goes without saying that you wouldn’t use the same language or behave the same way at a job interview as you would cheering at a sporting event and certainly not while at Sunday church service (At least I hope that’s not the case)! All of these examples though are not really what I mean though when I ask the question, “Does your front match your back?”
There’s a perspective I teach about when teaching my students about the process of socialization that illustrates that we have a “front stage” self and a “back stage” self. Our front stage simply is how we want people to see us (**cough cough—social media—cough cough**) and our back stage is who we really are.
In this blog, I’m taking this a step further and challenging you to think, is who you are at your CORE matching up all the way around? Is there consistency in the description of your personality when people hear your name? Do people sometimes not know what version of you they’re going to get? What this boils down to is authenticity.
My hope is that no matter who I run across, rational thinking people all know me to be the same regardless of what role they know me in. This is not about worrying about what people think about us. It’s simply about being confident in who we are that we don’t feel the need to change for others.
Living in your God-given purpose requires a level of intentionality of knowing who you are and being truly confident in yourself. When you know who you are, you’ll notice that the opinions of others matters less and less and the opinion of God matters most.
This doesn’t ignore the fact that we all have off days. We’ve all been there and none of us are immune to going through moments where we just aren’t in a good mood. This goes deeper to the core of who you are known as. And I think it’s safe to say that many of us want to be known as a person of integrity, care, and authenticity.
Psalm 55:21 AMP version says it this way: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but his heart was hostile. His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want this to be the warning sign placed on my front door!
Self-reflection is never a bad thing. I encourage you to take some time with yourself and ask that simple question, “Does my front match my back”? Hopefully what you uncover are characteristics that include being kind, respectful, caring, genuine, and most importantly, authentic (mixed in with all the other amazing qualities that makes you you)!