Giving voice to your authentic self can place you in a state of vulnerability. But is that such a bad thing? How giving up and giving in, and pushing against the right places, can help shore you up.
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One of the most biggest fears – one it seems we all share – when it comes to giving voice to our authentic selves (in life and in business) is fear of vulnerability. When we put our real selves out there, instead of some fantastic plastic “forward-facing” version of ourselves, we open the real us up to criticism, to rejection, to judgement. To being the last kid picked for dodgeball on the playground all over again.
And that’s not an unfounded fear. It’s absolutely true.
Except when it isn’t.
If people don’t connect with your business, if people aren’t buying from you, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It may be that they don’t need what you have to offer. Don’t want it. Can’t afford it. Already have it. Are saving up for it. Are dreaming about it. It’s not a personal rejection of your quirks, of your authentic self (although it can certainly feel like it sometimes).
But even when it is, when people say “ew, I don’t want to work with that person ’cause they’re weird”, is that so bad? After all, do you really want to jump in the proverbial business bed with someone who doesn’t like who you really are? Yeah, you really don’t. It’s an icky, uncomfortable place to be.
And while you may lose a few less-than-desirable folks along the way, you’re missing out on a huge potential selling point for other folks: you. You are a selling point. The real you. People are buying from you, building relationships with you. Being the real you gives you the opportunity to build strong, solid connections and relationships with people. These folks may not share your quirks, geek out over the same things, or support the same causes that you do. But you know what? Your Right People, you ideal customers, aren’t going to dislike you for it either.
And wow, let me tell you – the feeling of working with people that know you, that get you, that you don’t need to hide from? Nothing beats it.
That’s what shores you up. That’s what you can push back against when you’re feeling vulnerable and exposed. That you are you, with all your brilliant, amazing, awesome quirks and knowledge and expertise – which is so much better than trying to lean against a false front that you’ve created. And there are people out there who dig you, just as you are, no hiding necessary.
It’s time to put yourself in the spotlight.
Dani Nelson is a geek and a hippie with a passion for helping smart, creative entrepreneurs make their businesses better. Her secret ingredients? Strategy, tenacity, tasty beverages, and two unshakeable beliefs: that you (yes, you) have awesome things to share with the world, and that marketing doesn’t have to be awful.