I always say that authenticity has no competition−how can there be when you’re utterly magnificent and unique? There may be other people doing the same job as you, but there can’t be anyone doing it exactly like you unless you’re both following a mass formula, and that’s not what you came here to do, is it? You started your business to stand out and make a difference, not to blend in and be indistinguishable from the masses.
If you feel like you’ve lost sight of what makes you magnetic and unique, you’re not alone. We all have our ups and downs, and more often than we’d like, self-doubt pops up to make us wonder if we’re really such hot stuff. Please know that doubt is part of the human experience and it doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks unless you let it. And you’re here because you refuse to let it squander your joy, right?
Authenticity may be an overused buzzword, but it still has meaning once you get past the hype. Simply put, being authentic is being your truest self, who you really are deep inside, and being unafraid to share that with the world. If your deepest desire is to be a musician and you’re taking singing lessons and performing every night, you’re being authentic. If you dream of eco-friendly everything and join the movement to educate yourself and others about it, you’re being authentic. If you really, really want a safe space for women to gather in fellowship and you start a sisterhood or women’s circle, you’re being authentic.
If you’re not being authentic in your business, what’re you waiting for? If you can’t be yourself in business, what’s the point of being the boss? You don’t have to do what everyone else in your industry is doing if it doesn’t feel true and expansive to you. Do you hate the idea of a telesummit but do it anyway? Cut it out. Can’t stand the idea of curating a Facebook group but keep gritting your teeth through it? Enough already. If you’re doing anything popular or trendy that chafes at your Soul, take a deep breath and exit with grace.
You burn precious time and energy when you tie yourself down with projects and practices that don’t stimulate you and make you feel good. Running your own business isn’t a laugh a minute, but it shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to catch up with the other innovators in your space. Forever trying to catch up just means you don’t have the time and space to discover your own way of doing things that makes you feel good, plumps up your bottom line, and brings clients in the door.
Being authentic is a daily process. You need to know who you are (not who you think you are), what you want, and why you want it. You need to know what you’re willing to do in your business, how much service you’re prepared to give your clients, and where you draw the line so you have healthy boundaries in place to protect you and your heart. You want to be there for your clients, but you also don’t want to leave yourself open to the wrong clients who’ll walk all over you. Being authentic means reconnecting with your core self.
I’ll say that again: Being authentic means reconnecting with your core self.
There’re many ways to do this. Maybe you’ll take up yoga and meditation. Maybe you’ll sweat it out in Zumba or push yourself to the limit in CrossFit. Maybe you’ll find yourself through some kind of physical movement, a hobby you enjoy, a trip to a beautiful locale, or a passion project that stirs up your creativity and nourishes your well-being.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to have time for reflection afterwards so you can tap into your true self beneath the superficial layers of your conscious mind and day-to-day thoughts. Your core self is at the centre of your being, and you have to journey within to find your way back to her. Skating on the surface of your mind won’t get you there, and just thinking about it won’t do it either. You have to quiet your mind, cut through the layers, and mine the silver and gold within. In other words, you have to be still and alert so you hear what your core self has to say; journaling is great for this.
I suggest physical movement as a way to reconnect with your core self because the effort of moving your body in a controlled manner strips away everything unessential to the movement, so it clears your mind of the white noise that crackles over the voice of your core self. She’s always talking, but you’re not always listening to or aware of what she’s saying. Working out, running, swimming, and dancing are just a few ways to clear your head, burn up nervous energy, and leave you calm enough to hear the voice of your true self. The more alert and aware you are, the easier it gets to figure out what makes you different from the other business owners in your industry and how to best package those differences so you’re magnetic and unique.
Being authentic also makes you an expert in your niche−listening to your core self vaults you into a class of your own because you’re working with a dynamic creativity wholly unique to you. This means you find your way to the people and resources who expand your knowledge base, hone your business skills, and point you towards your true path, all of which combine to make you an expert doing what you came here to do. And because your life experience fuels your business, the expertise from your life experience seeps into the way you do business and draws your right people to you. They see that you’ve been where they are so you know what they’re talking about, and they trust you enough to lead them on their own journey.
Worrying about what other people think of you is a sure way to be inauthentic, and it’s why so many of us struggle to let our true selves out to play. We fret over being too much, too intense, too hyper, too something, and we forget that those are the very things that make us stand out to our customers.
It’s impossible for everyone to like you, and worrying about that just stops you from fully showing up every day. You’re not here to appeal to everybody, you’re just here to reach the right people who need what you have to offer and are waiting for you to give them what they need. Your job is to attract the clients who resonate with you, who need you, and you can’t do that if you’re losing sleep over who does or doesn’t like you. Once you accept that you’re not here for everyone, you free yourself to focus on who you’re here to serve and how you can give them the highest levels of service. Focusing on your ideal clients means you can’t be bothered who does or doesn’t like you and what you stand for.
When you’re connected to your core self, you’re grounded in who you are and what you’re here to do, so you’re confident about the way you do business and the goals you set for yourself. Being in touch with your core self means you’re always checking to make sure every project, business decision, and service or offering matches the vision you have for yourself and your business. And to do all that, you need to write down why you’re in business in the first place so you have something tangible to refer to when things get rough and you start wondering why you do what you do.
Having a written reminder of the ‘why’ behind your vision makes it easier for you to find your way back when you veer off your path and feel lost in the dark. We all get distracted and off course, and what we do when that happens makes the difference between getting back on track ASAP and wandering in the wilderness indefinitely. You need to be able to navigate the bumps and twists of entrepreneurship with grace so you can stay on top of your game and pull off your best work.
Being authentic isn’t throwing around a buzzword; it’s embracing a way of life that brings out the best in you and makes you indispensable to your ideal clients and customers. When you know what makes you different from the other people in your industry, you’re better able to attract your right people because you’re acting on what makes you magnetic and unique. Allow yourself to be in relationship with your core self so you can be the bright beacon your clients and customers need you to be.