A few months ago, I came across the words below from my friend Naomi Dunford and could not get them out of my head. I put them on a post-it on my desk and look at it everyday. The advice is about marketing, but really it’s about life. I sighed with relief when I read it, and here’s the excerpt:
ACTIVELY be yourself
When you communicate with people, tell them actual stories about your life:
a.) Play up the parts of yourself that are most relevant to your cause
b.) That shows people the most important parts of what you do
c.) Find the people who care about those things, and tell them your stories
Be audaciously active in seeking out people who are passionate about things you care about. Be yourself on a BIG SCALE. It will make you happy AND successful
Marketing? Sure. Life? Definitely.
The kind of life where you show up beautifully, with pride. Where people see that you’re really and get on board because you show up as yourself. That’s the kind of life I want.
The online world touts “Be you” – which is great, but unbelievably hard to do. You’re encouraged to be yourself, but it’s tough because you’re very different at any given moment. And you’re always learning more. I’m just now beginning to understand my nuances as a publisher, as a coach and consultant, as a writer. I’m learning even more about what’s important to me personally. These things change right now, even as I write this.
It’s a challenge to know which “you” should show up and when.
Showing up as myself is my biggest asset in my career – talking with authors about marketing, coaching people through fears, writing and building my business. It’s what draws people to me and it’s my story they want to hear. When I show up fully and help someone by simply being who I am, I can feel it and so can they. There’s nothing better.
But to get to that point takes a lot of not getting it right, at least initially.
There’s refining, mistakes to be made, questions to be answered, and all while navigating no-man’s land and the uncertainty of life. You know you’re awesome but still have room to grow. It’s working with the unpolished versions of yourself while striving so much for the polish, that we must learn to embrace.
There is tremendous power in being yourself. In the middle of the stickiness, you can say “Yes, I’m confused.” The simplest way out is to tell the truth about yourself and where you’re at. Cut through the thinking and head straight for your truth. Even if it’s unrefined. Even if it’s unpolished.
Unpolished is endearing if it’s real and okay if it’s where you are at. Don’t run from it. Embrace the reality of who you are, of where you are, without compromising who and where you want to be. They can both exist at the same time, if only you allow them to and respect both parts.
It starts by telling the truth to yourself first and foremost.