This is the first in a three-part series called Get Real! How to Trust Being Your Authentic Self. In this first post, I’ll tell you how to discover and reconnect with your root passion—your reason for doing what you do—and you’ll take the first step in learning to trust being your authentic self.
We all have a passion for something. For some, it’s about creative self-expression. For others, it’s about the big payoff. And for others yet, it’s about making the world a better place. But whatever it is that you’re passionate about, even if you haven’t figured out what that is yet, YOU are the only one who can deliver it with the style and originality that’s uniquely you.
That’s why we have thousands of musicians, painters, landscapers, mechanics, surgeons, pilots, accountants, veterinarians, teachers and so on. And each one of those people has their own vocational DNA. They bring their individual personality, training and experiences with them as they deliver and serve their audience.
But why, especially in business, do we see people trying to be like everybody else? Why do we try to mimic our perceived competitors in the hopes that we’ll gain market advantage? Why don’t we just give it up and be ourselves?
Because we don’t trust that people will like who we really are.
It’s human nature to feel insecure because we want to be liked. We make behavioral choices in order to be accepted, welcomed as part of a group—even revered as an industry darling. We put on this big act, and before long, it takes over and we forget who we really are and why we’re doing it in the first place.
So when we have so much technology and access to communicate and express our voice, why are we still hiding behind conformity and sameness?
It’s time to break out of the fear of being authentically you. Your business depends on your ability to get real and show the world who you really are and what you’re passionate about.
I have a writing exercise that will help you reconnect with your authenticity and start building the confidence to present it to your audience. Branding is about being distinct—and to create that distinction in your customer’s mind, you have to tell them your story.
Respond to the following prompts about your unique talent, passion and business. Write for at least ten minutes on each. Be positive! Stay focused on each topic’s positive aspects and what evokes the highest excitement for you.
- Origin story: When and where did your passion begin?
- Missing story: What was missing in the world that you knew in your gut you had a solution to or could do a better job providing?
- Hooked story: What was the first experience of providing that solution?
- Heart story: How do you feel when you have the freedom to do your thing?
- Customer story: How do you feel when you help solve a customer’s problem?
- Momentum story: What inspires you most to improve, grow and learn more about your passion?
- Dream story: When you dream about your business, what do you think about?
- Growth story: If all barriers were removed (money, access, permission) how would you do what you do differently?
- Vision story: What would you like your business to look like five years from now?
This is a lot of writing, and will take some time and commitment. But how you respond to each of these questions (how much you resist versus how excited you get) is a direct correlation to your level of trust in being your authentic self.
In the second part of this Get Real series, I’ll give you examples of those who risked being themselves, cashed in big, and how you can do the same.