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How to be yourself

by Alison Bradford

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So often I hear the advice ‘just be yourself’ or the latest buzzwords ‘ be authentic’ and yes, I completely agree with this but am I the only one sometimes wondering – okay but who am I?

Over the past few years I’ve taken numerous personality type tests (mainly in the corporate world of course) and have built up a huge bunch of labels, types and boxes to put me in. (Anything analytical, process based, task focused, detail orientated, getting things done – that’s the box you can put me in if you’re interested).

But I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with these – I know there’s a lot more to me than the results of some test and the same will be true of you.

We’re all an amalgamation of so many parts of our personality and experiences and that’s what makes us unique.

Being yourself is about being unique because there is only 1 you.

There’s a great Oscar Wilde quote that says ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is taken’.

So, how can you break out of your labels and boxes and get back in touch with who you are?

1. Strip away the masks – this can be the hardest as quite often the masks we wear have developed over our lifetime. They’ve normally developed for a reason – to protect us. Masks can be things like wanting to please others, high achiever, peace keeper, rebel and more.  Our childhood and work experiences will have taught us which masks work for us in a situation. Be honest with yourself – which masks have you been wearing still in your business?

2. Follow your gut – which people do you feel most comfortable around? Who do you feel ‘most like yourself’ with? See how you behave around these people and you’re on track to discovering yourself.

3. Don’t try to copy others. As a mum in business I truly believe that one of your biggest selling points is you (you know about the know, like and trust factor for people to buy, right?). It can be easy to see someone else doing something that works and think you need to be doing it to. Just stop and check if this is something that fits with who you are. Being original is always a sure way to catch people’s eye and be remembered.

4. Relax into it and enjoy the journey! Don’t get too stressed thinking about this or spend too long on it. Sometimes it’s best to go with the flow and play with it a little. Experiment bringing different parts of you into your business and see what happens! Have some fun!

I can still find it difficult stripping away certain things that worked really well in a corporate career but just make me ‘one of a group of people doing the same boring thing’ in this new world of running my own business and being an entrepreneur. I’m definitely having some fun now playing at bringing different parts of me into my business.

Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment or using the contact form.

 

 

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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