In my country we have a saying: “It’s better to be ‘normal’ because that’s crazy enough as it is.”
I detest this saying 🤮. People are taught to adjust, tone it down a notch, and hide parts of who they are. Better fit in, better be like anyone else.
I’ve done that myself too and it’s made me feel insecure, not good enough, numb and massively disconnected from my personal power.
👉🏼How are you putting yourself out there?
👉🏼Are you adjusting to how people in the business world expect you to be?
👉🏼Are you unknowingly creating a huge gap between private-you and work-you, because you believe that’s how it’s supposed to be?
In other words: How are you expressing yourself?
Too one-sided, too numbing
Many people express themselves is in a way that is very one-sided and lacks character:
- Many people adjust themselves because they’ve been taught to behave in a business-appropriate way
- There’s constant pressure to perform, reach targets and grow puts people into a one-sided warrior mindset
- Many people fear standing out, because they might be judged for being too outspoken or rejected for being different
- And the value placed on knowledge and hard-core experience leaves only little room for our hearts to be in our work
The consequence is that many people, maybe you as well, hide parts of themselves and are stuck in their heads, rather than being connected to their hearts. Chances are at some point you feel completely empty and numb inside, because you’ve (partly) disconnected from you.
… How can you be a positive influence on your clients, team or others if you’re not connected to yourself?
Your role as a leader
How you express yourself should ideally be a reflection of who you are. That’s how people will feel you’re congruent. The thing is… you adjusting to others doesn’t reflect you fully and will create a level of incongruency. You might not even know it’s there.
When your personal brand, which largely depends on how you express yourself, becomes a not-so-personal-because-I-adjust brand, you’re not giving yourself and others the opportunity to profit from your unique qualities.
So what does this mean to you, as a business owner, a leader, a professional?
It’s important to realize that the way you present yourself influences others constantly. You’re influencing your prospects, your team members, your business partners on many levels by the way you express yourself.
You express yourself through your attitude, behavior, words, clothing, body posture and movements, eye contact, hand gestures, the way you interact. These are all ways for others to experience you.
If that expression is covered by a layer of adjusting to others, you can’t really connect.
The power of standing out
Adding more ‘you’ to how you express yourself is of benefit to everyone. Let me explain.
- Life and work become a whole lot more fun when we are surrounded by people that have a similar outlook on life. People such as clients, business partners, colleagues that appreciate your weirdness. People that allow you to be you FULLY.
Expressing you with all your personal flavors will help these people to recognize that ‘it fits’. Some will be extremely drawn to you, others will be repelled (which you want!).
- Expressing yourself in a way that you feel ‘you’ will bring a lot more joy. It’s incredibly liberating when you stop giving a f*ck about rules and expectations and unapologetically show up in a way that shows all your flavors.
The more personal flavors you add to your work and private life, the more whole you feel.
You’ve got it all…
I understand that not everybody needs to be this outrageously outspoken expressionista. There’s nothing wrong with being more introverted, as long as you realize this:
You’ve got all flavors at your disposal. Everything is right there inside of you; some qualities simply need to be developed and that process might help you realize that there’s a lot more to you than you gave yourself credit for.
Tapping into all your flavors is not about overstepping your boundaries and turning into somebody else. It’s about stretching your boundaries slightly, step by step.
That’s how you grow.
Your personal brand should be a true reflection of you. Let’s express ourselves fully: by uniting our inner warrior with our hearts. You got this.