Being authentic and just being yourself is a topic which has come up a number of times for me and some clients over the last year or so.
When I am presenting and working with clients being myself is 100% required, the client has paid for me to lead them through a workshop for an entire day, they didn’t pay for an actor. Sometimes pre-workshops I feel the need to psyche myself up as if I am going on stage at the O2. Nerves are good yes, but anytime I have tried to be more animated, more funny or sometimes a bit duller than comes natural to me, I have not delivered to my full potential. I have felt a bit off my stride because I haven’t felt as if I have been completely authentic.
I had the privilege to work with an executive team last week where I supported the team to understand themselves, each other and forge a way forward for the team and organisation. Whilst spending a lot of time on different styles, traits and what makes the team tick, a powerful moment when the CEO said, ‘I want you to be yourself, I don’t want you to try to be something you’re not.’ I loved that simple moment of clarity and authenticity. Yes he had invested his team’s time and budget on developing greater understanding of the team dynamic but he was doing so to empower the team to be even more authentic and comfortable in their own skin. Having a leader that allows you to bring your personality to work differentiates someone who can manage to someone who can inspire and empower great things.
When it comes to being you at work or home, I often explore with people what inspires them to bring their best self forward?
Questions to consider to help you to be your best self…
- What type of people brings out the best in you? How can you spend more time with them?
- What do you enjoy doing the most in your work life?
- Personally, when do you feel most alive?
- If you knew you only had a year left to live would you be doing what you are doing?
- If there were no barriers and you could do anything what would it be?
I love the idea that you are the only person who can be you, you are the person who is most qualified to be you. So don’t try to be something or someone you are not. Do what you love with unashamed passion and pride.