Know yourself and be true
Know yourself and be an expert on you.
After that, be true to yourself.
Authenticity leads to a greater sense of purpose and joy in living. You tap into the most powerful part of your being when you remain true to what your heart and soul wish to communicate.
If you can't be true to yourself, you can't be true to others. It starts with YOU.
When you share your truest and most authentic message, you ARE your BRAND.
Honesty is crucial to build trust with your audience.
Telling your story with the whole truth, including some of the not-so-nice-and-tidy bits, touches those who can connect with the emotional resonance of your mission and vision.
Your truth positions you within your life's journey and your professional journey; people know who they are dealing with and why they should care.
You are ultimately here to make a living, so what you offer needs to be seen as valuable and worth someone’s time and money. The audience won't see it if you don't believe it or can't articulate your own passion about it.
Your message reveals who and what you align yourself with, as well as your relationships with yourself, with your employees or co-workers, and with your audience or clients.
No one else has your unique blend of experiences, knowledge, passions, interests, and way of expressing yourself. These make you different from everyone else. Use them to stand out from the crowd. You have to OWN your uniqueness, even if it's quirky or "weird."
I call this being whole-hearted
The heart is so often left out of the equation in business, marketing and communications. We simply tell people what we want them to hear. Not what they want to hear, and not how they want to hear it.
To know what they care about, you have to connect. And to connect, you have to be truthful, vulnerable, and real.
Why are businesses or professionals so squeamish about talking about the heart? I don’t mean talking about the heart as in being in love or expressing love. I mean, showing people that somewhere in the mix there is a person who cares, who is human. Not a “product or services selling machine.”
I got so turned off to coaching when I came across people who claimed to be coaches, but didn’t consider the feelings of the people they were communicating with. They would bombard them with emails filled with fear-based messages. “If you don’t act now, you lose…” was often a refrain I heard.
How is that whole-hearted? How does that make me feel warm towards them? It doesn’t. I turned away from those people immediately. My inbox is full enough as it is, without being bombarded by these kinds of messages from people I’d chosen to trust.
The second part of the equation is to not just be kind, but to be true. There are some people whose messages ring authentic and honest.
I can’t get behind anyone whose sales tactics leave me feeling like I can’t trust you to stay true. To stay on message. To remain as humble and vulnerable as you were when you first caught my attention. To be the expert you have shown yourself to be.
A few of those I choose to keep in my inbox, include:
I hope these folks keep it up. There’s nothing more enjoyable than finding someone who is good at what they do and yet is unpretentious. Who has a great offering, but doesn’t constantly remind me of it until I get sick of hearing about it. Who can actually help me, but lets me choose to engage in my own time.
Thank you to these folks — and to who ever else has hit on that delicate but beautiful formula of knowing themselves and being true.
Cover photo by Rui Silvestre on Unsplash