Be Yourself, Not Someone Else (5YTL)

Crayfish in attack posture!Have you ever paused for just a moment to realize you’re playing a role and not being your true self?

If you’ve never had that experience, congratulations (or Good for You, as my friend Christine would say)!  Unfortunately, a lot of people find themselves playing a role that doesn’t speak to their true selves, and it most often comes across as fake, false, lacking sincerity, or any number of descriptors that fit the bill.

I’ve been in the middle of a conversation before and realized that my voice didn’t even sound like my voice at all.  When I have found myself doing it, I usually try to get back to my true self, but becoming a completely different person in the middle of a conversation is weird.

The key for me, though, is to check in with myself regularly to see if I’m working in my strengths or from my own insecurities.  Sometimes, when we find ourselves in a place of potential vulnerability, we behave like animals in the wild who puff themselves up to intimidate potential predators.  It can be effective in the wild, but it can come across as silly in and amongst our peers.

So, I developed a list of questions that I keep handy and review regularly to keep me focused in the moment and to make sure I’m being true to who I am.  Here they are:

  • Where am I strong?
  • Where have I enjoyed success in the past?
  • What value do I bring?
  • What are my personal goals?
  • Am I doing something in this moment toward achieving my goals?
  • How will I measure success when I look back at this moment?
  • How can I contribute to the person with whom I’m engaged?

In the end, we all want for others to have a positive impression of us.  We need to feel relevant and contributory.  In the moment, we might even assume a different persona to gain those acceptances of others, but we’re cheating them, and we’re cheating ourselves.  If we’re playing a role and gain others’ acceptance, it’s like taking credit for someone else’s cooking.  You can’t really take credit for preparing the best steak ever for your family if you got take-out from Ruth’s Chris.

We’re all flawed.  We’ve all made mistakes (even that person you’re emulating).  It’s okay to be yourself.  You’re stronger and more confident when you’re coming from your own Position of Strength.  Be yourself.  Invest in yourself to be better at what you do.  Improve your real self, and let that organic confidence flow through and from you.

The real you is who I want to know.  Tomorrow Begins Today.

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