How comfortable are you being your 100% authentic self when interacting in the workplace or even introducing yourself to new connections? It's exhausting trying to please everyone while climbing up the corporate ladder, expanding your side hustle, or trying to improve your social status. It's a shame that so many of us go through each day trying to impress people who, quite frankly, do not even matter.
I can remember being absolutely miserable in my job a few years ago. Desperately searching for something new, taking on (another) new side hustle to fill a void, allowing my then relationship stress to distract me from doing what was best for me, and feeling completely sorry for myself.
If you can relate, here's something you will appreciate.
We all go through nonsense and stress in life, but that doesn't erase the fact that you deserve to boldly be you. Now is the time to unleash your fears, dream bigger, and become your absolute best self. Why keep waiting on that dream opportunity when you can create it? Why keep making excuses? (that's what they are).
I wanted to feel important and did anything I could to validate myself, prove that I cared about others, and I allowed that "need" to take over my life. For YEARS, I neglected my own health and well-being. Interestingly enough, I deemed myself a health and fitness coach during that time, yet I was a complete walking contradiction. I was in a relationship with someone who had major issues with drug and alcohol addiction, and I got so wrapped up in living a double life that I really lost sight of the woman I was and worked so hard to become. I had a hard time owning this part of my life because I was so embarrassed that I even allowed myself to be in that situation, but it is what it is and I've become much stronger because of it.
Here are 5 ways to BOLDLY be you. No matter what situation you are currently in, and I challenge you catch yourself and try one of these tips before the end of THIS week.
Own your personality.
What are some of the things that people love about you? My friends constantly tell me that they love how "real" I am. How I'm not afraid to share my opinion on things and that I am so honest. That's admirable, right? Well in a corporate environment, those traits aren't really admired in women. For the longest time, I hid behind my computer typing out emails that I would never send, and I was too afraid to share my real personality at work because I didn't want to be judged. Take time to stop and appreciate who you are, what you bring to the table, and the personality that you have. There is always room to improve the way you speak, the way you carry yourself, the way you dress, and even who you associate with. It starts at your core, though.
Career development really isn't possible if you're constantly apologizing for being who you are. Be true to yourself. I used to be so bad about saying sorry for pretty much everything. In meetings, I'd say things like "sorry, I don't agree with that", or "sorry, can you elaborate a bit more"? Both of those sentences could have started off without the word "sorry", yet it is so common for women to do this. Unless you've blatantly disrespected someone or publicly humiliated your boss in a meeting because you 'snapped', you have nothing to apologize for. It's important that you always think before you speak; however you are entitled to share your opinions no matter who may disagree with them and you should feel empowered to speak up.
Have more fun.
When is the last time you asked someone how they were doing? What did they say? My go-to response... "Oh, things are so busy, but they're good." UGH. That's awful. First of all, the question "how are you?" doesn't warrant a response about WORK. How YOU are doing was the question. Not how your job is going. We all have jobs, work, or ways of making money that we wish we probably didn't have to deal with, but there is more to life. Make sure that you're enjoying it. There are 8-10 hours in a work day for most of us. What are you doing with the other 14-16 hours of your day? Aside from sleeping, I hope you're spending time doing things you enjoy with people you enjoy being around. Life is way too short not to have fun, but it is all about balance. A glass of wine never hurt to wind down from a long day, either.
Many people tend to disagree with me here, but this is important to think about from a different perspective. How many hours do you spend each day doing things for other people? When we are working in the corporate world, we are usually working FOR someone else. For those of us who work side businesses or running your own company, that time is dedicated to growing your business and building better relationships with customers and potential clients. How much time do you actually spend each day on yourself? You must carve out that time for yourself. It may just be 20 minutes an evening to take a hot bubble bath, 10 minutes to read a chapter of a book that you're trying to finish, or taking 10 minutes each morning to catch up on theSkimm. You can't show up and be your best for others if you are neglecting yourself. I love the saying "if you don't love yourself, you can't have love to give anyone else." Take time to fill your cup so that you can pour into others.
Enjoy everything that comes your way.
There is no reason why we can't embrace and enjoy any experience that we have the opportunity to learn from. There are constantly areas in our career and in our life where it would be easy to complain. Going to the grocery store, for example. I don't particularly enjoy shopping, but if I think about the fact that I am saving money by preparing my own meals and controlling what I put into my body, it's easier for me to appreciate the benefit of that weekly task and to better enjoy the experience. You may deal with difficult people in the workplace, and there are also ways to embrace the annoying interactions that you may have with them. Learning to appreciate the opportunity for you to grow and understand how to work with difficult people is a pretty valuable lesson that many of us can use and learn to actually enjoy.
Now, I'd love to hear from you. Which tip can you implement this week, and why is this important for you right now? Leave your thoughts below directly in the comments.
Brittanni Below, MBA is a coach, speaker, and trainer based in Houston, TX that provides services to help fierce and self-driven women to live a more balanced, healthy, and more fulfilling life. By fully understanding your unique talents and gifts and what is distracting you from being successful, Brittanni helps you transform fear, lack of confidence, and life challenges, into lessons that push you to crush the goals that you've set for yourself. If you're interested in personal coaching, book a session with Brittanni here.