Monday, November 02, 2015

It’s quite the buzz word these days, isn’t it?  Everywhere you turn you are faced with the message to just be “you.”
You are enough. 
Be true to yourself.
Be authentically you. 

Why do you think we are seeing that message so often?  Why do you think it is so prevalent in today’s society?

Is it because we have become so self-absorbed that we are the center of our own universes?

Is it because we have become a society obsessed with personal development?

Do we consider ourselves gods, able to make our realities into whatever we expect them to be?

Or is it because we really have truly horrendous self-esteem, and we need excessive encouragement to believe that who we actually are is valuable, powerful, and worthy?

My opinion?  I think it’s a bit of all of the above.  I think as a society we have become self-obsessed and self-absorbed, often to the exclusion of the rest of the world.  I also think there has been this huge push for creating our own futures, that we are the masters of our own destinies.

I do, however, think that those reasons make up the minority.  There are powerful people who believe all those things.  In fact, I think the more powerful someone is, the more they believe them.  (Maybe there is something to consider in that…but that is another post, left for another time)  However, I think the everyday, average person has doubts.  Am I good enough?  Am I a failure?  What if that person over there sees my shortcomings?  What if he doesn’t think I’m pretty enough?  What if she doesn’t think I care enough?  What if I am not good enough to keep my job?  What if…?
Think about it.  What do we all do when we start dating someone new?

Men, you open doors.  You compliment your date.  You wine and dine her, taking her to the best restaurants that you can afford.  You try to appear worldly, even if you truly aren’t.  You try to portray intelligence and sensitivity.  You try to make yourself above the rest of the male population.

Ladies, you spend a little extra time in front of the mirror.  You try to appear flirty, but not too much.  You spew wit and compliments to show appreciation.  You fawn and flit, and you attempt to attract your date with everything you think he wants.

But what happens when you get to know each other?  The pretense falls away, and you are left with nothing but yourselves.

So why do we start out with so much extra effort?  Partly because we are afraid that our true selves won’t really make a good impression.  Partly because being our true selves invites scrutiny.  And partly because we are unsure if that level of vulnerability is something we wish to extend to the other party just yet (more on that topic to come Friday).

But I would really like you to think of yourself as a book.

Bear with me here.  There are thousands of books in your little bookstore.  Each one has its own story to tell.  Each one is different.  There are thick books, thin books, books with pictures, and books without.  Some are flashy and well-known.  Some have made the bestseller list.  Some are adventures, some romances, some thrillers, some supernatural.  Some are fiction, and some are not.  But each one has its own story.

And there you are, just one book in the entire bookstore.  You weren’t placed in a position of prominence.  All you have is what you are.

How disappointed would the customer be if you copied the cover of a book from the romance genre, but your content was truly horror?  That customer probably would not buy you again, if given the chance, right?  Instead, your publisher most likely designed your cover to reflect what you are inside.  And just like every random book in that bookstore, you have an audience.  You just have to be found by that audience.  But that audience is not going to find you or fall in love with your story if you pretend your story is different.

SOOOOO what does all that have to do with this blog, with me?

I am guilty of not being authentically me with you.  I am guilty of hiding behind what I believe I should be.  I am guilty of copying the style of other successful coaches and hiding my own values and priorities.  And I have become burned out several times this year.  I’ve been trying to toe the line between acceptable and distasteful, between me and “them,” and frankly, it’s exhausting.

My success partner asked me about two months ago why I was trying so hard to fit the mold of my coach.  The easy answer was because I cared about her opinion.  I wanted to make her proud.  I wanted the recognition.  But the answer that has just become truly apparent to me in the last month is that I was afraid I wasn’t good enough.  That realization was freeing.

When I stopped allowing that thought to define me, I was able to see why I had become so disillusioned.  I wasn’t really comfortable with certain tactics, certain “schemes” if you will, to become successful.  So I took this last month to really think, and I’ve decided my success partner is pretty smart (ok, I already knew that, but…).  I don’t need to fit that mold.

So I’m not.  I am fully aware that my business may suffer, and I am 100% ok with that.  Because from here on out, my mission is to be unapologetically me.  My book?  My story?  It’s mine, and I want to tell it to the world.

Because if MY story can change a life, can make an impact, then I would rather that start now, rather than later.  What do you say?  Care to write the next chapter with me?

Side Note:  If you have signed up for my monthly newsletter, I promise it's coming...  I got a new phone a little while back, and I lost the ability to log into Mailchimp...but I am in the process of recovering my account.  Don't worry; you'll get it this week!

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