Take a minute or so to ask yourself – are you living your life or someone else’s? I don’t just mean in terms of your career or business, but also in terms of how you behave, what you say and how you act.
Many of us hide behind false masks – hiding who we really are and what we feel deep inside. We could be afraid of showing our true authentic self as we fear the reaction from other people and don’t want to be judged negatively. We keep our true selves hidden as we fear we may not ‘fit in’ with what we feel society expects of us. Society as it stands has so many guidelines or ‘rules’ of normal behaviour and many of just simply follow other people’s opinions, advice and rules – rather than setting our own personal path.
For years, I complied with some of these rules, even simple ones for small business owners such as ‘you need to network’ or ‘you have to have a specific brand image’. In my personal life I stuck to rules such as ‘you have to go out to meet people’ or ‘it’s rude to let people down’. I followed these rules that were laid down by other people, just in case they were right!
The fact is that, by adhering to these ‘rules’, I wasn’t being true to myself. I was doing what society or other people expected of me, rather than what I really wanted to do. I would go out because I felt I should do and attended numerous events believing that this is what successful business owners should do.
When I look back, I usually never felt good after making myself do something I felt I should do. I would usually spend the evening wishing I was doing something else or watching the clock until it was acceptable for me to leave. Also, in my business, I found myself doing things that were other people’s dreams, rather than my own. Simply, it didn’t feel quite right – as it wasn’t really me!
Fortunately, I am now on my own stream, making sure that I am living my own unique and personal dream. This doesn’t involve doing things that I feel I should be doing, such as attending networking events, or running my business in a way that is commonly expected. In all honesty, brand does nothing for me as I prefer to connect with the PERSON, not the BRAND.
What works for me is setting my own rules and being an ‘energy snob’. This means that I only choose to do things that make me feel good or excite me. This includes only working with clients, whether it is a speaking, coaching or training that I enjoy. It also includes only choosing to work with PR clients who have a product or service that I believe in. In doing this, I tune in to who life really intended me to be. I also feel more self-empowered and far less fearful and competitive. I have also discovered by giving myself permission to be my unique authentic self, I also allow other people to connect with me on the level of their own authentic selves.
As a result of this, each of my days is filled with fun, joy and happiness. I also feel for more aligned to whom I really am, rather than what I feel I should be.
So today, perhaps you could check in with yourself to make sure you are aligned to your own dream – rather than someone else’s. Remember, each one of us is unique, so no one can really make blanket rules or guidelines about what’s right for us.
Lisa Phillips is a Confidence Coach based in Sydney. Lisa features regularly in the media and is a popular speaker on the topics of empowerment and confidence. For more information, please see www.amazingcoaching.com.au