It’s really hard to sustain something that’s not you.
What do I mean?
I mean when you’re trying to run a business, be in any kind of relationship or friendship, at work, whatever it might be, and not really be yourself, then wondering why it feels hard or like it’s not working.
I was giving a talk in a big group of hypnotherapists last week about overcoming the fear of visibility in your business.
And I said something that I kind of take for granted but really hit home with the people on the call.
I was talking about how important it is to really be yourself. I mean really, authentically you.
So everything matches.
Everything is congruent.
That the you that people meet in real life matches your online you and your brand.
But it was also about where you hang out online that’s authentically you too. If you’re trying to build a community on Facebook when actually, you can’t stand Facebook, it’s never going to feel right for you. It’s incongruent.
You can also apply this to your job too. If you pretend to be something you’re not, you’ll always get caught out eventually.
We have something called Neuroception which is literally our neural circuitry determining, unconsciously, if something or someone is safe and to be trusted or dangerous or not to be trusted.
We also have the anterior cingulate cortex which scans your environment for ‘errors’ and inconsistencies.
People will unconsciously feel that you’re not being yourself and it will generate a threat response in your brain.
Soooo…it’s worth figuring out how to be more you right?
The more you try to push something that feels incongruent the harder your business will feel and the slower it will grow.
So what does that actually look like?
It’s about learning to be comfortable in your own skin.
Yes, this is absolutely something you can learn and practice.
Creating a community, products and services where you feel totally ok to be yourself.
I’m a bit of a goof, I’m a big kid at heart, my outfit of choice is dungarees, my songs of choice are Disney, I’m certifiably obsessed with dogs and I really don’t take myself too seriously, even though I talk about serious things.
I let that part of my personality come out and play.
But make no bones about it, I really had to learn to like myself and be comfortable in my own skin. That starts by living your values.
Being authentically you doesn’t mean you have to share everything about yourself and your life either. I see people fall into that trap often.
You get to keep some things to yourself.
As an example, my other half is never really on my stories. He’s a hugely private person and hates social media so it’s out of respect for him. I might talk about him or mention him, so people know he exists. But that is as far as I take it.
It’s also important to be present with people in your life. The other night we did movie night. This is something we started during covid when Amazon prime started putting cinema releases up to rent for silly amounts of money, but still less than you’d pay in the cinema.
So movie night is when I go get bratwurst hotdogs and crispy onions, popcorn and chocolate, we shut the curtains and turn the lights out and watch a cinema release. The other night was The Batman.
Now, what’s my point!
It could have been good content for my stories. It would have been a great little insight into my private life for my audience.
That’s totally cool. But I was also enjoying being present and I wanted to be in that moment.
And to be present often means not putting every little detail of your evening on social media.
Take this as your permission slip to make that judgement call yourself, with no judgement!
Share what you want to share and hold on to other things that are precious. It’s your life and you get to do that.
But, if you didn’t notice, I’ve still managed to turn that evening into content, just in a different way that allowed me to do both! Winner!
Really this is where the inner work comes in. You have to at a minimum be comfortable in your own skin. Comfortable with who you are as a person.
This can take work. I often talk about how and who I used to be. I used to be someone who really didn’t like themselves much. Someone with incredibly low self esteem and high functioning anxiety.
I knew I was kind, generous, loyal but these were traits that were all about how I treated other people.
When I had to think about something I just liked about my personality I really couldn’t have offered you much.
I was worse about the way I looked.
Someone with that low self esteem is really going to struggle with running a business if you’re the face of it, if you’re the brand.
You’ve got a few choices in that situation.
One is, start a business that doesn’t require YOU to be in it, for example, a product based business or a subscription box.
Or, you can just not have a business.
Or, you can work on your self esteem, your confidence and learning to really allow yourself to be yourself so it’s not something that holds you back ever again.
Some are easier routes than the others, sure.
There’s no judgement to be made over your choice, but I hope for the sake of your dreams and the sake of yourself you choose to do the work.
It is HARD to sustain anything that’s not who you are.
If it’s not in line with your values or who you want to be.
If you feel like you’re doing things that are fundamentally not something you enjoy doing. (Or course there are things in your business that you’re not going to love doing, like taxes, but these are things that can be eventually outsourced) What I’m talking about in this instance is trying to build a business on a platform that you don’t enjoy being on yourself.
Self sabotage is going to plague you every step of the way if you’re not being you.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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