There’s always the latest thing that you have to try, buy, wear, or be. Frankly, it can be exhausting to try to keep up. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to!
It turns out that the harder you try to imitate someone else’s style, work patterns, or speech, the less authentic it appears. You can probably think of someone you’ve met that seems like they’re trying too hard. At its worst, they go beyond seeming insincere and move into unbelievable.
Most of us have been there at some point in life where we edit our personality and approach to try to fit in. Maybe it was to impress the cool kids in high school. Or maybe it’s at your current job because you don’t feel like you can be yourself there.
It becomes a vicious cycle where you try hard to act the way you think you need to, but no one buys it because it’s not really you, so you dig deeper and try even harder. That’s a game no one can win.
So why do we put ourselves through the agony then? It often stems from the fact that we overvalue what others bring to the table, while selling our own strengths short. Because your strengths are inherently easy for you, you assume that they must be easy for everyone (which is not the case at all, btw!).
The first step toward authenticity, then, is to identify and understand your strengths. Some people have a clear idea of what these are, and some people, like myself, take years to discover and acknowledge them. Once you have that piece, you need to merge it with your personal brand (all the pieces of you that create the total experience of working with you).
Think about someone you’ve worked with that seems to be doing exactly what they were designed to do. In addition to being great at it, they also are truly enjoying themselves, even (and especially!) when the work is challenging. That’s what you want to target for yourself: doing the work you were designed to do, in only the way you can, using all your unique strengths.
It turns out that when you Work Authentically, the next big thing will be YOU!
Do you need help with identifying your strengths or building your personal brand? I’d love to chat with you!