Why you should be authentic


ONE day I happened to listen to a certain gospel song by a renowned Zambian artist. I should say that it was a hit song.

It was one of those refreshing gospel songs which you would like to listen to again and again. Timeless songs, if you will. However, if you listen to it, and especially for a long time, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is done by a Nigerian artist. I say so because the accent was but Nigeri-an, save for the name of the musician and the title track of the song, which is in Bemba.
As I continued listening to it, a number of questions started going through my mind. For example, what made this guy decide to sound like a Nige-rian when in fact he is a bona fide Zambian citizen? Does he think that the Nigerian accent is better than the Zambian one? Is he inferior enough that he thought that only by singing with a Nigerian accent he could make a name, money, impact and so on?
Later, I came to realise that he is not the only one in this inferiority complex trap. There are many artists like him and even people from other fields or professions who feel they have to pretend to be from foreigners to make it in their line of work, especially Western ones, i.e. British or American. But while such thinking could bring ‘comfort’ to an inferior mind, it rarely leads to success, if at all it does.
It is for this reason that you should never follow others blindly or imitate them carelessly. You should always try to be you. Of course, this is not easy, true to the saying, “To be yourself is perhaps the greatest battle that you’ll ever fight.” But then, it is a worthwhile battle and you’ll do well to win. The rewards of doing so are great.
There are many benefits of being authentic. Among these are:
It is easy to be identified by people. In other words, your uniqueness becomes your identity or trademark, so to say. This undoubtedly helps you to stand out from the crowd.
You enjoy true freedom. This is because you avoid being enslaved by others by way of imitating or following blindly what they do. You literally come up with your own brand, a real and true identity of yourself, and not some copycat. True to the Bible, “Do not be conformed to the ways of this world but by the renewing of your mind be transformed.”
Any famous person has a trademark or unique things by which they are easily identified by people, in general, and their raving fans and followers, in particular. It therefore goes without saying that authenticity is the key to lasting fame. And the same can be said about fortune, as only people with unique products and services can create real and lasting wealth.
Authentic people are synonymous with leadership. Remember, no one wants to imitate or learn from a copycat. Everyone wants to be like the origi-nal person. So, why be a copycat when you can actually be an original man or woman?
It is only by being authentic that you can attain lasting success. Copying or following others blindly leads to temporary success, not lasting one.
On the other hand, when you are not authentic, the following happens:
You are always copying from others instead of either inventing or smartly innovating. Simply put, you are always spying on others and what they are doing. What a job!
There is no doubt that you’ll be a slave of others. This is quite pitiable, especially in this modern day and age.
Fame and fortune is likely to elude you, as these are by-products of unique, original works done by creative, imaginative individuals who are confi-dent enough to believe in themselves and their God-given abilities and talents and are willing to use them to the maximum for the glory of God.
You are likely to fail miserably in your pursuits or endeavours. Truth be told, unauthentic people rarely succeed, if at all they do in their sorry lives.
In conclusion, learn to be authentic. At the very least, know that a Zambian is good enough and a Zambian can actually be better. As the Bible right-ly puts it, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.” And in the words of one wise man, “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.”
The author is a motivational speaker, writer, life coach and entrepreneur.

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