“Authentic” | Elements of an Elite STEM Professional (#8)

ELEMENT #8 Authentic – [A]

To be completely original; genuine”

We live in a society where finding authentic people is hard to come by. Social media has provided so much exposure of the lives of individuals around the world, and we often try to model our lives based on what we see. I remember reading the hashtag of an Instagram post that read #nofilter. I laughed because clearly, the photo had a glossy layer placed on it. The most disturbing thing was that people commented: “You look great.” I once asked a group of summer interns “Who would they be without the filters on their phones? Could they even identify their true self? When they look into the mirror who do they see?” Sadly many of them could not answer the question.

There’s a difference between emulating a char­acter trait of a person versus trying to become a split image of an individual. Character traits are a product of the application of adopted princi­ples to one’s life. They are unique to each indi­vidual based on their life’s experiences. There is no way you can become the split image of some­one without experiencing the same exact life cir­cumstances which includes DNA make up.

Finding your authentic self can be challeng­ing. We are saturated with advertisements to be­come more beautiful, more fit, buy more things, become the next YouTube sensation or get a big­ger and better home. It’s a constant barrage be more, do more, have more, and the whole time you haven’t spent any time asking yourself the question, “ who am I and who am I supposed to be? “ It could be years before you realize you’re living a life that’s not in line with who you were destined to be.

When you want to find your authen­tic self, you need to remove all distractions from your life. What is it worth to you? Are you will­ing to separate yourself from social media or TV in general just to take time to soul search? I know I sound like an extremist, but no one is going to take your life more serious than yourself. So if you’re waiting for someone to hold your hand and do all the work for you, you will be waiting for a long time, if not forever

You can’t fake your way through life. Yes, it may work for a while, but you will never pass the test of time. Time will reveal if you’re genuine or a knockoff. Take the time now to identify who you are and grow in confidence of being your authentic self.

This piece comes to us from one of our amazing community members and STEMedia Partners, Ricky Venters. This new series is based from his book Live on E. His bio is below, be sure to check out his awesome website and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!

Ricky Venters is recognized as an Engineer of Impact. Defying the odds,completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has achieved his Professional Engineering License. During his tenure in STEM related fields, Ricky recognized the increasing competitiveness in the industry and sought to become a source of inspiration and mentor to students and young professionals in STEM related fields. Follow him now!

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Ricky D. Venters, Jr. P.E.