You hear “be authentic” a lot at social media events. Sometimes I wonder though if the problem is that many people are not really sure what their authentic self is. If you are always trying to please whomever you are around, you know that you are a people pleaser type, but that is about it. You have to learn to find that balance between being a nice person who is reasonably flexible and still having your own true authentic self.
I have never been the quiet type. That loud voice that talks a lot that many of you have experienced in person is the way I have been since I was a little girl. As I have gotten older though I have realized that I do need to listen more. It is really a hard thing to do – but I’m learning and trying regularly. When I talk a lot usually it is because I just am passionate about the subject and have a lot I want to share. This is part of my authentic self. It took me a while to realize that it was not about me just shutting up and allowing others a turn, but it was about being quiet also in my mind and just taking in what others had to say and contemplating it – not thinking about what my next words would be. Figuring that out has been wonderful! It is not something I have perfected by any means, but I do it enough of the time that it is now a part of my authentic self also.
At conferences we hear some fabulous people speak to us either about technical know-how or personal life experiences. It is easy to sit and listen and be amazed by some of these speakers BUT the best ones are those that come across as authentic. They are not Super Women (or men) up there – just people. Just like you are just a person. And I am just a person. Sure we all have some things we are better at than others, but in the end we are all just people. The president is just a person, the pope is just a person, the Nobel prize winners are just people. If you go to a conference and you hear someone’s name being shouted out by others over and over again that person is no better, or worse, than you. Being you is okay. It is okay to not be great at cleaning your house and be great at SEO, or be a wonderful organizer around your home but maybe you wish you were more attentive to your kids – just be you. The things you do not like about yourself are the things you can work on. No one is perfect. NO ONE. It doesn’t matter if you read a blog where the mom was won all sorts of awards, is a gourmet chef, runs a multi-million dollar business she started, speaks with her husband on how to have a happy marriage, has 2 kids both in AP classes in school, the daughter who is the head cheerleader and the son captain of the football team – she is STILL JUST A PERSON. I promise you that she has negatives in her life also, but she may just not want to share those things. And if that is what she is comfortable with it is ok – as long as she is still authentic in what she puts out there.
Being me is ok. I’m still learning to listen well. I struggle all the time with weight and healthy eating and exercise. My son has a lot of issues – but I still adore him and in my mind the good far outweighs any negatives. My husband and I have been married 20 years with plenty of UPS and DOWNS. I am really good at Twitter and other social media stuff. I enjoy working with brands and they seem to like me often enough too. I suck at money management. I am really good at brainstorming new ideas. Most people find I am a good teacher. No matter what I say it is all ok because it is authentic and it is ok to be me!
There is no need to keep up with the Jones’, have more traffic on your blog than The Pioneer Woman, be richer than Oprah, or whatever. BEING YOU IS OK!
© 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.