I was wrapping the boxes of precious gemstones after giving a presentation in an upscale retirement community in North Dallas. A lady approached me and said, “My husband, who died last year gave me this for our anniversary. I did not notice this before, but if you look carefully, there are a few black spots in this Ruby. Does this mean that this stone is fake?” I looked at her and smiled. “The technical word for the black spots is “inclusions.” That is what the industry refers to these black spots as and they are natural,” I replied.
That evening, while driving back home, reminiscing about my interaction with the lady made me smile again. But this time I was not smiling because of what she asked me. Co-relating her question to our personal, professional and social lives made me smile. Gemstones, including diamonds show inclusions because of a natural process. These could be impurities that become a part of the precious stones while its forming under high pressures and temperatures. A stone without any inclusions at all is more precious and rare. There is no laboratory process that can eliminate these inclusions. If you look at a cubic zirconia (a stone know for its brilliance and flawless characteristics), even under high magnification, you will find no inclusions in them. That is because they are lab created, they are not natural. Or as some people say “they are artificial.”
Flaws are a sign of being authentic. Most of us want to be flawless; we want to avoid making mistakes: doing or saying the wrong thing. But making mistakes, not knowing everything is being a human. That is what makes us authentic and acknowledging our flaws makes us absolutely authentic.
We all come across certain people in our personal relationships or work who have a hard time admitting what they don’t know. They feel the need to defend their position, they raise their voice and become dramatic. This happens when people are not connected with their inner-self. When we take ourselves for granted and always want to be right, that’s when we are fake. We are just dead-walking- alive!
Keep an open-mind, an open-heart and acknowledge when you are not right. Sometimes, it’s okay for others to know more than you. If you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to apologize. It makes you more genuine. There is nothing worse than defending your position to make a wrong- right. That’s fake.
Admitting your flaws is the quality of an authentic leader; they are hard to find but you can easily find crowds of those that don’t. Flaws are natural. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be authentic and you can succeed in your personal, professional and social life.