April 16th, 2019
One of the things I talk about with my clients all the time, and you probably hear often from business coaches (and speaking coaches and life coaches and inspirational leaders and middle school teachers and self-help books and best friends and anyone who has anything to say to anyone about how to make sense of the world) is—
Always be yourself. Be true to you. Stay authentic.
If you’ve got a business, bring more of you to your business.
Speaking? Bring more of you to the stage.
When you’re wearing the marketing hat, bring more of yourself to your marketing.
You get the idea.
If you can’t be you, why bother doing it at all?
But I will also say, sometimes that’s easier said than done.
I remember even as a teen reading “Be yourself” advice in teen magazines and thinking “But what does that even mean?”
When you’re figuring out who your SELF is as a teen, in the crowd of other teens figuring out who THEY are, being yourself can seem like a rather daunting project.
And besides, what if people don’t like who you are? Yikes.
I’d say the same goes for a business owner, or a speaker. Figuring out who your “Self” is as a business owner/speaker can take a bit of time. With every new challenge and every new opportunity we find a new “self” we didn’t even know we had.
When I started my coaching business 6 years ago, I certainly felt pretty uncomfortable in my new-business-skin. It was like a whole new piece of clothing I had to figure out how to wear. I wanted to wear it so that it looked good on me, but more importantly so that it was comfortable to live in.
Buuuuuut, comfort doesn’t often go in the same sentence as growth.
I talk a lot about the value of discomfort, and how comfort isn’t always the goal.
Sometimes, in fact, discomfort is the goal.
Not discomfort for the sake of discomfort, but discomfort for the sake of growth.
When we’re willing to show up for discomfort, we grow into new skin, and find a new layer comfort, a new layer of our SELF that we didn’t know before.
And then BOOM! Another layer of discomfort…Hec that’s a never-ending process.
Stretch, discomfort, growth, comfort, stretch again…
I’m musing on this because one of the places I’m super uncomfortable being visible is on social media. I grit my teeth and do it, but I don’t love it. Give me a stage and a mic any time, but virtual visibility? Ugh.
Except, I’ve recently been finding meaningful engagement over on LinkedIn. It never occurred to me that there was much going on over there that could be of interest to me. But I love it!
Here’s what happened: I was doing my best to tuck in and play the game of looking like every other professional out there, when I saw someone else being visible as her unique wacky self, and doing it on LinkedIn, and I thought “That looks fun! I wanna do that!”
So I did!
I decided to bring more of my wacky self forward and see what happened.
And it was fun! Fun because I got to be uncomfortable being visible, and then watch myself grow into new skin.
Fun because it also brought some haters. Ok that was a tiny bit ouchie, but mostly it was fun because—I got to say, “Hey. You’re not my people. Thank you very much. I’m not your gal.”
And that’s fun.
Also fun because it opened the door to more engagement. Meaningful engagement with people who saw ME and said “Hey I want more of THAT”
That’s what happens when you show up as You. All the way.
You attract the people who want YOU.
Even if you’re still figuring that out as a business owner, as a speaker, as a human, every reach into that uncomfortable place of visibility is gonna show you a little bit more of who you are.
Here’s the video I posted on LinkedIn.
It’s 3 minutes. Watch it to see me bringing my wacky self to LinkedIn.
But also watch it because it shares a tool you can use to bring more of YOU into the room, in spite of whatever nerves or limiting beliefs or caution has kept you hiding and tucked in.
Drop a comment on the LinkedIn post, and if we’re not already connected, let’s connect on LinkedIn.
Let’s BE OURSELVES and have some fun!