When we don’t speak up, we’re guilty.
When we pretend to know something we don’t, we’re guilty.
When we’re scared to be comfortable in our own skin, we’re guilty.
So many of us walk around violating the one thing we’re born with: being ourselves.
Last week, I was having a conversation with a dear friend who is looking for a job. I asked her what she wants to do, and her reply confused me. She went on and on about her schooling, her curriculum, her past experiences, and more — but, in my experience, what you’ve done in the past isn’t always relevant.
People don’t care what you studied. They care what you’re about.
Over the past few years of trying to live the life of a freelancer and entrepreneur, I’ve realized one crucial thing: when I am completely myself, I flourish at unexpected skills and tasks. When I try to hide that and be someone else, everything seems to fall apart. Have you ever felt that in your own life?
The advice to be yourself is the most comforting advice I’ve ever come across. Here’s why I think it works:
1. Rely on Your Best Supporters
Remember how carefree and invincible you felt jumping on a trampoline as a child? I do. I want to recreate that every single day. Luckily, the people that surround me help me do that.
Certain people in my life support me no matter what. I like to think of these people as my own personal trampoline, allowing me to jump higher and bounce back from my falls. Best of all? These people know me through and through — the real me, not the “trying to look better/smarter/funnier” me.
Like Dr. Brené Brown says in her book Daring Greatly:
“The irony is that when we’re standing across from someone who is hidden or shielded by masks and armor, we feel frustrated and disconnected. That’s the paradox here: Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you.”
By being ourselves, we open up to the true support, empathy and love of the people who most want to help us succeed.
2. Activate Your True Gifts
Have you ever had trouble coming up with your a list of your strengths? I have, until someone shared a common trick with me: ask your parents and close friends.
Our loves ones have known our true selves from the time we were born. They are aware of sides of us that we sometimes forget. We might think we’re good at X, Y or Z, until someone close to us names a few other things we are awesome at, yet have taken for granted.
By becoming aware of our true gifts, we can activate, nurture, and build off them for future opportunities.
This is only possible when we show our true selves.
Are there certain gifts you could be forgetting? Could you ask the people closest to you what they think you’re great at? You may be surprised what the come back with.
3. Take Smarter Risks
Do you know what happens when you have a solid trampoline to jump on? You jump higher, you try new tricks, and you go for the moon.
Pair that up with a new found confidence in your true gifts, and the sky is the limit.
Once you open yourself up to being your true self and you activate your true gifts (including those you had forgotten), you’ll be standing on stronger ground to take risks.
What do I mean by taking risks? Here are some examples:
- You can become more bold and comfortable in your networking.
- You can try to set up new businesses based on your true interests.
- You can set aside time for yourself to connect with the people who support you most (your trampolines).
- You can lead a more fulfilled and balanced life according to your unique needs.
Are you ready to let your true self thrive?
I have some questions for you:
Are there times you’re not being yourself? Why is that?
Has being yourself opened doors for you in the past? Tell us some examples.
Does being yourself scare you? What are your concerns?
I’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments below.
When Marcella Chamorro decided to quit her job to live every day as if it’s a vacation, she turned her attention to creating a lifestyle that is both meaningful and exciting (watch her TEDx video in Spanish). As an author & entrepreneur based in Nicaragua, Marcella guides those who want to quit their jobs, live their dreams, and live a vacation that never ends at The Perpetual Vacation.