Your Best Authentic Self
(Transcript is not exact to audio. For best training, listen to audio)
Think back to the last time you were in the zone—acutely alive, true to yourself, and performing at your full potential. It’s that moment you knew you were doing what you were born to do and all the typical distractions and awkwardness from self-doubts and insecurities are gloriously absent.
It’s in that moment that you were operating in your authentic self.
All of us are striving toward our best self. All of us are trying to present our best self personally and professionally. The problem is that the best self is still evolving.
Let me explain. You have an idea of what your best self looks like. Unfortunately, your idea of your best self compared to your current self makes you acutely aware of what you’re lacking generating self-doubt and insecurity. In the quest to capture your best self, you study and learn from those you admire. But you either feel even more insecure as you compare yourself to them or you try to be like them, which your body interprets as a lie. That conflict leaks out in your body language and those around you pick up on this subconsciously.
The trick is making sure that your idea of your best self is true to your authentic self. And the answer to that question is in the last time you were in the zone.
Every time you’re in the zone, your brain creates a vivid memory of it. It’s a snapshot of who you are at your best AUTHENTIC SELF, not who you think you should be or who you’re trying to be.
The 3 Things You Must Have
In the book, “Presence: Bringing Your Best Self to Your Biggest Challenges,” Amy Cuddy shares a study of 185 videos of individuals pitching their ideas to executives. The surprise was that it wasn’t the idea, no matter how good it was, that got the yes. It was confidence, comfort, and passion for the idea.
I.e. those who were comfortable in their own skin and confident and passion about their idea communicated those things in their body language. The executives were looking for those things (whether they knew it or not).
You see, genuine confidence, comfort, and passion can’t be faked. It comes from authenticity, which is why everyone, but especially introverts, must truly love and believe in what they do and their product or service. Your belief and passion form the platform for your authentic self that silences all the self-doubts that normally distract you in such situations.
Your belief and passion must extend to who you are as a person. You must fight for acceptance of your authentic self in spite of all the things you see that’s wrong with you while at the same time actively engaging in personal and professional development to enhance your strengths and reshape areas of weakness.
Some of you might not truly know who you are. Throughout life, you’ve tried to mold yourself into who you think others will accept and or the person others have told you to be. Sometimes you’ve had to adapt and conduct life and business in a way that’s not your core self in order to succeed. Over time, these adaptations bury your authentic self making who you are even more confusing.
One of the things I’ve seen a few times in working with individuals is an “opposite operation” of personality. Let me give you an example. In the DISC profile personality assessment, you have D for dominant, I for influence, S for steadiness, and C for conscientious. D and S are opposites and I and C are opposites. When a person comes up as a DS or SD combo or IC or CI combo, I know that somewhere they’ve been told that their true personality is deficient so they’ve adapted to the personality that another believes they should be, usually a parent, a teacher, or anyone they hold in esteem. I’ve also found that typically that person wants them to be more like them!
It’s time to stop conforming yourself to another person’s idea of who you should be.
The biggest change I’ve seen in my personal and professional life is ACCEPTING AND RECONCILING my life and business WITH WHO I TRULY AM! I’m still learning and evolving as a person. But I can only truly connect with you and help you when I’m being true to who I am. And the same is true for you.
Now that doesn’t mean being obnoxious in our strengths or being blind to our weaknesses and their impact on those around us. Instead, it’s a fine line of awareness of how we’re impacting those around us while being true to who we are.
Authenticity always takes into consideration how we can help others be true to who they are.
Here are four questions that can help you clear attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that hurt you and clearly define who you are when in the zone.
1. What three words best describe you as an individual?
2. What is unique about you that leads to your best times and best performances?
3. Reflect on a specific time at work or home that you were acting in a way that felt natural and right (i.e. being in the zone) that you can repeat.
4. What are your signature strengths and how can you use them?
Take time answering these questions. Write them down. And then avoid not liking them! Let’s be real, you can’t change who you are at your core. The quicker you accept that, the quicker you’ll reach your goals for life and business.