Get Real!

By Dana Borowka

How often have you ever said or thought… “Get real”. What a challenge those set of words can conjure up in one’s mind. Being authentic can bring a number of mixed messages based on what we base our sense of reality on. One of the definitions for “authenticity” includes “genuineness or theater mantruth of something”. For example, a genuine book is that which was written by the person whose name it bears along with relating information as to what really happened.

What are we being genuine or authentic to? When we search for the authentic self or request others to “get real”, what are we truly requesting? Are we asking others to view life as we do, and then that would then usher in “reality” into their life? That may be the case in some situations. However, if we are not offering some level of empathic understanding in our daily walk, what kind of connection are we making with others? Whose book are we requesting others to accept as the “genuine” way to “be”?

Viktor Frankel was a psychiatrist and a survivor as a prisoner of war in several Nazi concentration camps. He wrote a number of books about his experiences and the search for the meaning of life. One of his observations I found to be very interesting and wanted to share it:

“Therefore man is originally characterized by his “search for meaning” rather than his “search for himself”. The more one forgets oneself – giving oneself to a cause or another person – the more “human” he is. And the more one is immersed and absorbed in something or someone other than oneself, the more he really becomes “himself’. Just consider a child who, absorbed in play, forgets himself – this is the moment to take a snapshot. When you wait until he notices that you are taking a picture, his face congeals and freezes, showing his unnatural self-consciousness rather than his natural graciousness. Why do most people have the stereotyped expression on their faces whenever they are photographed? This expression stems from their concern with the impression they are going to leave on the onlooker. It is “cheese” that makes them so ugly. Forgetting themselves plus forgetting the present photographer plus forgetting the future onlooker would make them beautiful. Forgetting themselves and overlooking themselves…. The humanness of man is most tangible when he forgets himself and overlooks himself!”

So, when we want others to get real, what is the basis for our request? I’m not sure if anyone can answer such a request with a completely “honest” answer. Rather, we may decide to challenge our sense of reality by asking questions that might include: Am I sharing my inner talents at work and at home? What do I value from deep within myself; and am I expressing those talents with those around me? Or am I just marching through time because…. What is the ‘because’? Why do we do what we do and what is our theater masksmotivation? Who are we smiling for – the onlooker, the photographer… who are we modeling for? If we were to simply “play” as a child, where we would express our inner self, what would we be doing – how telling that could be. Think about that one for a moment.

Deep questions for a deep topic…. So the next time we ask someone to get real, what reality are we asking them to align with. Ask yourself, “What am I aligned with?” Is it to help someone to fulfill a jointly shared vision, goal or objective or just trying to get a point across? We’d love to hear from you on this topic.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and his organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Dana has over 25 years of business consulting experience and is a nationally renowned speaker, radio and TV personality on many topics. He provides workshops on hiring, managing for the future, and techniques to improve interpersonal communications that have a proven ROI. He is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, & our website:

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.