Gifts for the New Year: Be the Real You
Notice all the places in your life where you feel distracted and stressed by how you’re behaving. Happiness Principle #13, Be Authentic, reminds that when you stop trying to “play a role” to fit what you think other people expect of you, you give yourself the space to truly shine based on your real gifts and strengths.
One of my executive clients began a new job in the middle of 2010, but then spent much of the third quarter trying to figure out “what the heck happened” to the happy, joyful person she used to be. She went on holiday the week of Thanksgiving and, after relaxing with friends and family, she started to recover herself. And then the best part happened.
She spent a week+ in Sierra Leone on the horn of Africa, coordinating an enormous charity initiative for her organization. She lived in primitive surroundings, sleeping in 100F degree heat and 99% humidity. She had facilities to put on her “usual mask” so she spent her days sans makeup, hair curling in the humidity, and on some days without even a shower.
And when she called me just hours after arriving home, she described herself as “Happier than I can remember feeling in a long time.” The ten days of “deprivation” had helped her get back in touch with that happy, joyful person she really is behind the “serious senior executive role” she’s been trying to play.
So as you continue to prepare for a great 2011, here is today’s reminder: Don’t waste any more time trying to be something or someone that you’re not. Every bit of energy you direct toward diminishing who you REALLY are is energy wasted. Instead, seek ways to bring your strengths and your talents to work and remember that they hired you to play the part of….YOU! Unless you’re an actor hired to play a role, don’t even try. Just be the Real You.
Show up, make mistakes, and be glorious!
Next week: Practice Optimism