To really connect with others, the most important thing you need to be able to do is show and share your authentic self. Sounds simple, right? Actually, as one of the hardest things in the world to do, it’s still the number one thing that holds people back in their lives and businesses.
And don’t be fooled by first impressions, despite the old adage. Most often people only show what they think you want to see first rather than the truth. Whether they are doing it consciously or not, that’s another story. Often this is what marketing is based on telling people what you think they want to hear so they will buy or commit to a brand.
However, the real you is your best and only currency.
When the Writing Needs to be on the Wall
With a long career in marketing based writing and consulting, making things sound fabulous is second nature to me. I know how to twist an angle, eloquently talk about strengths and create an authentic hook that reels people in naturally. I also know how to polish a turd, and to the best of my ability, focus on the positive.
But writing about people, or when people need to write about themselves, it’s quite the opposite. They have a really hard time seeing their own value, gifts and big picture contributions. They struggle with the right way to talk about themselves that doesn’t seem like bragging”, and often just talk about themselves as little as possible because it makes them uncomfortable. Most often their biggest struggle is how to write about and market themselves in a way that sounds and feels authentic; to talk about their gifts using language that draws in people for a personal and business connection.
I think it’s because they are very attached to the idea of who the SHOULD be, but have no idea who they really are. People are afraid to share the unique quirks and weirder bits” that truly make them so awesome in the first place, but those are the real, authentic connecting points that bridge them with like-minded people, businesses and clients.
Show Us What You Got!
Do you feel you have a good sense of who you are, beyond the generic ideas and personal programming? Can you really be honest with yourself, in the most challenging of moments, and really own up to who you are? Do you spend any regular time alone, in some contemplative space, thinking about your life and how to be an active participant instead of an unwilling spectator, being dragged through one dramatic life experience after the other?
Most importantly, do you share some things about yourself with others or through your business that you feel might be “weird” to others?
These are just some of the things you can think about to open the conversation with yourself and make it honest. There is no right answer and there is no rush. And if you need a little help seeing your gifts and how to use them to connect with others (which is why we have them in the first place), talk with someone who can reflect your unique beauty back to you — whether you consult with a professional like myself or a friend or family member.
And in the spirit of sharing, I have to be fair. Here are a few things you may not know about me…
- I love celebrity gossip and soap operas — it helps me relax and decompress
- I’m highly intuitive and can tune into people, seeing where they have energy blocks or things they are unable to see in themselves
- I adore animals, all kinds, and used to do wild animal rehab work with the Humane Society
- I’m originally from the northeast, and have the attitude to match (when I need it)
- I love dark and sour beers
This post is part of the May 2012 Word Carnival a monthly group blogging event specifically for small business owners. (It’s the most fun you’ll have all month!) Check out the rest of the fabulous carney work here.