If you are a business owner whose success relies, to some degree, on real connection with your audience, then being willing to show up authentically is part of the deal. And let’s be honest, in today’s saturated service-oriented business market, being yourself is one of the quickest and most effective ways to attract your ideal clients. Like it or not, you are your brand.
Being authentic does not mean, however, that you have to share all the private details from your life. You are always in control of your messaging! But if there’s a gap between what people see and what they actually get when they work with you, the chances of building deep, lasting relationships may be affected.
The biggest thing I have learned- both personally and professionally- is that, to some extent, the fear of being vulnerable by showing up authentically never really goes away. It’s a practice. And the more you practice, the better you get at putting yourself out there, DESPITE the discomfort.
Having my photos taken by Miranda was a great example of this for me. After decades of intense personal work, I consider myself a confident woman. I generally don’t worry about what other people think of me. I’m hyper aware of comparison traps. I stay in my own lane. Yet, when it was time to have some pictures taken for my business, all those old fears came roaring back. So much so that I almost cancelled the whole thing.
But I didn’t. Instead, I sat with those yucky feelings, accepted them for what they were and kept going. That commitment on my part, combined with Miranda’s insane talent behind the camera and her desire to help the client see what she sees, resulted in the best photos I’ve ever had taken. When I saw the proofs, I cried (in a good way). It was like, “Oh! There I am!” Powerful stuff! I’ve often wished I had the ability to make others see themselves the way I do, even for a moment. That’s what Miranda did for me.
My invitation to you is to become aware of and accept the fact that showing up authentically- especially when it comes to having your photo taken- may feel uncomfortable. That being said, there are some simple tools you can use to dig a little deeper about WHY being vulnerable feels so…well, hard, so that hopefully it gets a little easier.
Instead of sitting with a general sense of unease, dig down and try to clarify what’s actually going on.
Here are a few I see a lot:
This phrase was popularised by Brene Brown, a shame and vulnerability researcher (I highly, highly recommend reading every word she has ever written!) This will look different for everyone, so the key is being aware of what it looks/feels like for you so you can have strategies in place to deal with it. Here are some examples from my own life.
I sincerely hope this has been helpful in some way and – hey – if it was all old news, that’s great because it means you’re already a rockstar at being vulnerable! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out. And if the idea of being authentic has left you in a spin because you have no idea who you are and how to do that or you found yourself thinking “Geez, I do that a lot!” while reading these examples? I’ve got a coaching package designed just for you. Check out The Second Half Playbook Coaching Package on Facebook
Super excited to share Meghann’s amazing words! Loving her advice because I know I’m guilty of some comparison self-sabotage!
Meghann Birks is a coach, writer, speaker and storyteller by trade and by nature. She uses a variety of modalities to help her clients live BIG including humour, traditional coaching techniques, embodiment practices and creative methods. She loves seeing women embrace and use their power to change their lives and the world around them. When not working, she can be found climbing trees and usually getting stuck.