One of the first lessons I remember learning after turning 30 was how much easier it is to be myself than to try to be who the world might think I am. I believe being authentic is a critical element in discovering your giant within. Everybody’s Giant is different and it takes courage and energy to bring her out. Can you handle being authentic?
You can’t afford to waste energy wearing a mask or pretending to be something you are not. You need that energy and focus for continuing to develop into the powerful person that you were born to be. If you want to be authentically, sincerely, genuinely, blissfully, intentionally happy and successful you have to decide to be who YOU really are.
If I am who I really am will people still like me?
I had a first face-to-face meeting last week with someone who I had been communicating with online and she told me she was surprised to discover that I talk the way I write. Really?! I know I have a pretty formal writing style and I do occasionally throw in a high-octane vocabulary word, but guess what? That’s how I interact offline too. Growing up I had a very strict Jamaican father who never used slang or poor grammar so I usually don’t either. And if you think my vocabulary is premium, you should hear my older brother or my oldest cousin. They put the encyclopedia in Encyclopedia Brown.
I didn’t tell you that so you would ask one of us to tutor your child for the SATs. It was simply an illustration of how important it is to be authentic and consistent in communicating your personal brand. My new business associate and I had a great networking meeting with a lively exchange of possible ideas for working together in the future. Do you think our meeting would have gone as well if I presented myself as someone completely different than the person she had been following online? I don’t think so. Authenticity trumps sparkle, every time.
I am not suggesting that you start being completely transparent with everyone and telling them everything about you. Perish the thought! What I am suggesting is that when given an opportunity you really think about how you feel about something before simply repeating what you have heard others says. I am suggesting that you have your own opinion and you share it appropriately. I am suggesting that you give yourself permission to be authentic and unapologetically who you are. You want to attract people to who you are, not who they think you are. Then you will worry less about whether your circle of influence can handle you. They will know and like you.
Faking it is costing you
Can you really afford to spend much more time trying to be a poor imitation of someone else instead of the fabulous original that you are? Nobody else can be YOU. I’m working on a series of e-coaching lessons to help us discover who we really are and practice communicating that authentically to others more consistently.
Please share your thoughts with me in the comment box below and feel free to share this on Twitter or Pinterest with your friends if you think it might help them.