Stop Stifling Your Personality
It’s so much easier to network, speak, sell (whatever “self-promotional” interactions feel awkward) when we DON’T have to hide our personality, creativity & ideas.
Our personality & way of seeing the world is what makes us stand out in business. Especially in a crowded industry (aren’t they all crowded these days?)
And yet, that’s exactly what we hide (behind perfection, a PowerPoint slide deck, the need for more credentials, labels that keep us in a box, etc) into order to conform and fit in.
Where Do YOU Belong?
In her book Braving the Wilderness, author Brené Brown (a super quick and inspirational read, highly recommend) talks about the quest for true belonging. She suggests that before we can belong to others, we must first belong to ourselves.
Then, we can fit anywhere or nowhere and be perfectly OK.
Deep, right? It’s also, as Brown writes, courageous and vulnerable.
That’s the epitome of “shedding formalities”. To drop learned behaviors that never felt natural in the first place, step out of a conventional bubble and engage people with who you really are.
To do that takes a combination of skills, inner confidence and a supportive setting that gives you permission to bring your uniqueness to the world.
Then, it’ll be so much easier (and even more fun) to talk to strangers at a networking event, sell your services, vision or ideas (we’re all selling something), and build the relationships you need to make great sh*t happen.
It’s Time to Stop Stifling Yourself
I’ve been a guest on several podcasts recently talking about the concept of Shed The Formality as it relates to our networking & self-promotional interactions. The hosts always want to know HOW to do it.
If you’re tired of stifling your personality & ideas when you speak – at networking events, on video, on podcasts, at client or staff meetings, on panels, to pitch your services – consider the following:
- Be aware of what’s holding you back and the impact it has on you, your work, your relationships. Can’t change what you’re not seeing or experiencing.
- Be accountable. Only you can drop what’s holding you back. If you’re waiting for permission or to feel ready, that may never come. (Unless you come to my events, I always give permission). Ask yourself:
- Do I have the desire to make a shift?
- Do I have the support?
- Am I willing to do the work?
- Take Action. Shedding formalities is somewhat experimental. About building skills, getting quiet and tuning in to YOUR voice, finding the right setting that allows you to express yourself and thrive and consistently doing the work.
Whatever it is about your public persona that’s holding you back, understand that persona isn’t you…it’s you in restraints.
And if you’d like to live without them, it’s time to #shedtheformality and get to work.
Remember the world needs you & your ideas.
Keep Showing up.
Over the past year I did a lot of “clearing the cobwebs” off my business vision. Quite frankly I never thought I had one, turns out I did.
- First, I always imagined owning a business where people could talk to each other all the time and not get in trouble for it. (Before leaving my corporate job, socializing with colleagues was always my favorite part of work)
- Second, as a college student I became fanatical about fitness and health. As a career aspiration I always imagined owning a gym.
And while I’ll never own a fitness center, this fall I’m launching the Shed The Formality [online] Training Studio – live, facilitator lead (by me!) programs to build your “speaking” muscles (ie, sales, small talk, formal speeches, facilitation, etc).
It’s what a fitness or yoga studio is for your health & well-being except this will elevate you and your ideas. I’M SO EXCITED!
Want to know about it? Then make sure you sign up for my email newsletter list to be the first to know!
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About the blog
Humor, stories, and insights, delivered 2x per month, to perform without the pressure.
Topics include mental health, work, human connection, creativity and more.
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