Authenticity: Know yourself. Love yourself. Be yourself.
Being you. It is, quite literally, what you are born to do. You have exactly everything you need to be yourself. And no one can do it better.
So what’s the hangup?
Being authentic with your friends and family is easy. You know them. They know you. You have history together. And you’ve seen them be authentic (i.e., imperfect) too. In this context, you could say there’s somewhat of a level playing field.
In contrast, being authentic as a solopreneur, being authentic publicly with people you don’t even know…that can feel terrifying.
Here’s the reality. We are raised to “be on our best behavior” or “wear our Sunday best” or otherwise practice and prepare for public appearances throughout our lives. Whether we are at a family barbeque (don’t embarrass mom and dad!), at our workplace (be professional and perfect so you can get a raise/not get fired), or out on a date (look pretty and be likeable so you won’t have to be alone), there are a lot of “supposed-to’s” in life that require us to hide a part of ourselves in order to follow the rules.
We are taught to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted and approved in all kinds of situations. It’s kind of frightening when you stop to think about it.
After a lifetime of hiding parts of ourselves to fit in, it’s only natural that it might feel new and vulnerable to suddenly be stepping 100% into who we are, and sharing our true nature for all the world to see.
So yes. It can be uncomfortable being completely authentic as an entrepreneur. How important is it to get over yourself and do it anyway? It’s CRITICAL.
Here are a few reasons why being authentic is one of the most important superpowers to master in your business.
- You build trust and rapport with your ideal clients by being real and relatable.
- You differentiate yourself in a sea of competitors.
- You will be running your business based on your strengths.
- Your business will transcend simply being transactional to making meaningful connections and having a real impact.
- And last but not least – it’s a lot more fun (and MUCH less work) to just be yourself!
I don’t believe anyone sets out to be inauthentic. At times I don’t think we are even conscious of how we hide ourselves. But if you truly want to succeed as a conscious entrepreneur, you have to raise your self-awareness and get over yourself so you can BE yourself.
Trying to be someone you’re not, or spending all your time projecting a certain “perfect” image of yourself is a sign that you don’t value your own worth. And if you don’t value yourself, no one else will either. (Including all those clients you want to serve.) Being yourself, really, truly BEING yourself, takes strength, courage, and the ability to accept and love yourself for who you are, and where you are on life’s journey right at this moment.
Sidebar: I’m not saying you should air out all the skeletons in your closet. Because it’s ok to keep personal things personal. But it’s also ok to be IMPERFECT. Newsflash – we all are. And when you try to portray yourself as perfect, you’re going to set off everyone’s bullshit detector and whether it’s conscious or not, they won’t resonate or relate to you.
Being authentic is one of the most powerful superpowers of successful solopreneurs. Especially if your business is based on your personal brand. Being YOU is what attracts the right kind of clients to you. Being YOU is part of your unique value proposition. Being YOU is unconditionally what you’re meant to be and do on this earth.
The bottom line: people can sense the difference when you’re being “you” or being YOU. So don’t be afraid to shine your light bright and proud and be exactly who you are, imperfections and all. You’ll feel more fulfillment, confidence and joy, and your clients will love you for it. It’s definitely a win-win.
Activate this SuperPower!
Take a few moments and get to know yourself by journaling on these questions so you can step more powerfully into who you are and share your badass self with the people in the world who need you.
- What do your customers get from YOU that they can’t get from anyone else?
- What feels most uncomfortable about being totally authentic to your ideal clients and target market? Why?
- What is the worst that would happen if people found out something about you that isn’t “perfect”?
- What are possible advantages of your clients knowing you aren’t perfect?
- How much energy are you spending trying to appear “perfect” as a business owner and thought leader? How is that serving you?
- In what ways could you transform your weaknesses or vulnerabilities into strengths?
- How could sharing your imperfections help you serve your tribe?