I love the quote of Oscar Wilde: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
A friend described she was tired of holding herself back. She felt most of the time she was trying to please others, putting herself down, was afraid of failing. As a result, she felt she was far from creating a fulfilling life.
If you feel this way at times, the biggest favour you can do yourself is showing up. Here some suggestions on how to do so and be yourself.
Be authentically you
Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself as others will undoubtfully see through that game and fail to connect meaningfully to you.
Instead connect to your powerful self, that wise voice inside you who knows you and believes in you and act from that energy.
Act and speak, according to your values and principles and who you are. That is when you come from a powerful place and people connect to that authenticity.
Know what you want
To show up you need clarity on what you want – out of life ideally, but it can also be smaller steps.
If you are trying to figure out what you want to do professionally, you might want to connect to people you feel drawn to.
Imagine you are meeting with someone you met at a network event.
Before going to that meeting, define clearly what outcome you want. Maybe you would like to know more about the company or the sector the person is working in. Maybe you would like to have that person introduce you to someone. Maybe you are just curious about how that person got to where they are.
Whatever your goal is, let it be crystal clear for yourself. That clarity provides focus, focus leads to concrete results.
Celebrate each progress or victory – however small.
A client was telling me she was lined at the gate at the airport. She gave way to a man who seemed to want to pass through. Turned out he wanted to jump the line – just like that. So she told him in a courteous way to get in the line at the back. The man still tried to be snide:’ Do you have priority?’ To which she replied: ‘I do. Do you?’
While in the past she would have let it go, this time she just spoke up. Jumping the queue steps on her values: honesty and respect.
Be conscious of your progress. However small, as many small ones become a leap! Thus, be conscious of every small step and make sure to keep it up.
Life is a journey
Don’t sit in the waiting room, waiting for the right time, the right occasion, the right whatever. Instead, create the right time and occasion. Take ownership of your life because no one else is going to do it for you.
Life is a journey. Be on that journey, not on the side-line. Commit to creating that life you want and look for every opportunity, every occasion which helps you doing so.
Remember, You, and only You, can create your life. You have the power and you are responsible.
Get rid of the noise inside your mind.
I came across a series of quotes by entrepreneurs on lessons learnt, in the magazine Wired. One of them is by Betty Liu, founder and CEO of Radiate: “I should have done things earlier but I was afraid to. As I grew older, I realised the people I admired were just as unsure of things as I was. The difference was they went ahead and did them anyway.”
Everyone has an inner critic – the art is to know how to keep it low. Learn to recognise that useless noise and quieten it. And instead, listen more to your wise self.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou.
When you are in discussion with someone, be present. Don’t let your thoughts dwell on the dinner you need to cook, or a client you need to call. It is better to spend 15 minutes of great quality time with someone than one hour without being present.
Being present means showing interest and being curious. Ask questions, listen to the energy of the voice, the body language. So many clues can enrich a conversation when you take them with you. And the person you are talking to will feel heard and seen. And remember you.
Take care of your health
You know the little story about the professor who first filled a jar with golf balls, then added pebbles followed by sand. The golf balls represent your health and relationships; pebbles job, home, car. The sand is small stuff and material possessions.
Don’t fill your jar with sand first because than there is no room for the golf balls. If you spend all time and energy on small stuff, there will be no time for big ones.
One of those golf balls is your health. Be sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy food, and do enough exercise. That really is the minimum. Great additions are journaling, meditating, breathing.
If you feel good, it shows.
How do you want to show up?