No matter how old we are, we all struggle with this.
We’re about six weeks into 2021 and I’ve already worked with 5 different companies helping them figure out how to work better together.
What still astounds me, and only because I thought I was the only one; is the fact that every time I teach my Your Brilliant Difference program I learn that so many of us deal with the struggle to be ourselves. No matter what age, education, title or level of success achieved— this is a common challenge we all experience in our lifetime.
I’m reminded by a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” How true is that?
The struggle to be yourself is real and should not be take lightly.
The quality of your life and the impact of your work rest explicitly on how comfortable you are in your own skin and how willing you are to be seen in it.
We are continually being bombarded by messages that tell us we’re not enough, we should have more of this or more of that, or if we follow these 5 steps then we’ll reach the epitome of success.
Even though many of these messages start with good intent, their impact only drives a deeper wedge between who we are and who we think we need to be.
Your are not alone in the struggle to be yourself.
Here’s what I’ve learned about what holds us back from bringing more of who we are and our Brilliant Difference to the table:
1. Our Brilliant Difference is unknown to us: Your innate gifts, the special skills, talents and that thing you’re so brilliant at comes so easily and naturally to you, you don’t even notice it and take it for granted. You’re so close to what you’re good at that it’s hard for you to see. A ‘can’t see the forest from the trees’ effect.
2. Our brain is wired with negativity bias: The human brain is wired to look at everything and anything that may pose a threat to you. It surveys your environment and picks up on any potential red flags. Whether you’re being faced by a saber-toothed tiger or you just walked into a networking event, the feeling of fear instilled is the same. Negativity bias not only scans your external environment, it also focuses on what’s wrong with you, what you don’t have, or to whom you’re not measuring up. It’s always looking for what’s wrong in order to protect you, so it distorts and limits your view of yourself as it only puts your attention on the negative.
3. Our attention is immersed in the tornado vortex: We live in a noisy, busy, distracted world. Attention is a finite resource. You’re constantly being pulled in different directions and being diverted from your agenda and goals. This tornado moves you away from your Brilliant Difference, keeping you preoccupied on social media, looking at what your competitors are doing, or organizing your inbox.
Which holds you back? One or all of them?
Even though ‘they’ are unceasingly vying for you to be who they think you should be, your biggest value and reward will come from teaching us that all we need is you.
If you’re an introvert living in an extrovert world – we need you to bring your thoughtful insights and quiet power.
If you’re a creative, out of the box innovator – we need you to solve old problems in new ways.
If you’re people focused and heart centric – we need your compassion and human touch in this digital world.
If you’re ambitious and result oriented – we need your big dreams and bias to action to get us moving.
You have something invaluable to offer. Don’t let other voices, negative bias or the tornado distract you from it.
PSS: I talk a lot about uncovering Your Brilliant Difference and the struggle to be yourself in my book: Sell From Love. Get your copy on Amazon today.