Our Philosophy: Stress & Authenticity
“Why put the two together?
Authenticity is the “state of being committed to the truth”.
“An authentic leader is one who chooses to live a life of integrity. They are not only honest with others but they are honest and true to themselves. Does this mean they don’t make mistakes? Of course they do we are all human! And yet they have the courage to take responsibility for their ways, learn and grow. Why? Because they Care – They care about you, they care about themselves and they care about the world”.
About Kim Elkovich
Kim’s corporate career began at 22 years of age working as a sales representative within the pharmaceutical industry. Across 15 years Kim climbed the corporate ladder to hold both National sales and marketing roles. Whilst consulting for the N.S.W. Department of Health in 2004 Kim commenced her study in the field of psychology.
Now at 48 years of age Kim has combined both her corporate and clinical experience – running niche wellness programs for organisations. Kim also works (eight years) as a sessional academic within the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle.
Kim’s area of academic interest and PhD focus is employee moral distress and what constitutes an ethical organisation. Further how can we create one to provide equity for all?
The Psychology of Authenticity
The profession of psychology and those spiritual have been exploring, researching and theorizing authenticity for decades. The central premise is that human beings are born into the world as unique. This uniqueness can be scientifically attributed to the random aggregation of DNA derived from both parents. The spiritual perspective believes we are a unique spirit who is on earth for a particular reason.
Regardless of each perspective the fact is nurture also has a role to play. In order to survive in the world a child is reliant on others. Children learn through sensing and experience about attachment further what to do in order to have their needs met. By interacting and mirroring their parents (or primary caregiver), extended family, school, community and society they learn how to think, feel, act and form relationships with others. They develop values and beliefs that support them in their immediate world- extending into adulthood. Unfortunately this conditioning takes them away from who they really are – the authentic self.
Adding to this complexity is the fact that in adult life circumstances present which challenge who we are and the way we live.
The Psychology of Authenticity
Individuals can discover the way they were taught to be is in fact creating problems for them. Their learnt behavior, thinking, values and core beliefs are insufficient to solve the problem. This creates tension with individuals often feeling stressed and stuck. This tension builds until the person is required to question themselves and their predicament. They begin to think of new possibilities and eventually if able take a leap of faith- doing something different. This change indicates personal growth and personal resilience.
When this process is not embraced we see personal turmoil, relationship breakdowns, workplace bullying, poor decision making or no decision making; finally it can result in mental illness.
The Onion Skin Model (Peeling the Onion)
The outerlayers of the onions are learned:
Beliefs, Values, Behaviours, What and When to feel How to think
Seeking help to develop self- awareness and greater personal choice is key however stigma such as being seen as “weak or crazy” can
get in the way. If assistance is sought an individual is able to shed the layers of conditioning that no longer serve them. This new knowledge and new skills in effect brings the person closer to who they are- they become more authentic. A number of psychological modalities refer to this as the “onion skin model”- that is “peeling the onion”. It is now being researched as stages in evolving consciousness.
Finally we are not designed to run faster and faster behaving the same old way, making the same old mistakes,
until we collapse- instead we are designed to evolve.