For a long time many professional, “motivational” speakers had foisted on their audiences the need to be “authentic.” This often occurs with an overweight, chain-smoking, heavy-drinking, thrice-married person up on stage admonishing the audience to take control of their lives!
“Authentic” means to be of “undisputed origin.”
Now the latest crop of self-appointed experts seeks to make money from the return of people to work by insisting (this is in addition to “quietly quitting,” of course) that people bring their “authentic selves” to the job. I believe this means that one shouldn’t hesitate to talk of the most intimate details of their lives, dress (or undress) totally according to personal taste, and generally behave “authentically” and not necessarily in a compatible manner with the nature of the business or the sensitivities of coworkers or customers.
I scoffed at all this as another unsuccessful attempt to scam money from people. But then I thought back to EST (Erhard Seminar Training—Werner Erhard’s real name was, I believe, Jack Rosenberg) and how people were lured into that nonsense back in the 70 and 80s. And even then, I didn’t think Erhard was “authentic”….