You keep hearing from social media and other platforms nowadays about being real and being uniquely you. But what does being you and being authentic even look like? And how do you know when you’re being authentic. Being authentic is very much just being able to own the truth of all that you are, all the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a person, realize that you have more than just one dimension. You have to give yourself permission to acknowledge how great you really are and use that to expand your relationships, your business, and your life.
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Expanding Your Life by Being Uniquely You
This is going to be an awesome episode talking about authenticity. There are a lot of different ways that we can interpret this, but let’s really talk about what Dan and I mean when we say the Power of Authenticity.
These days, especially when you’re talking about expanding in business, there is this push back against a lot of the techniques, a lot of the methods that people have been using. You know exactly what I’m talking about. “I made $300,000 overnight, this is how on Facebook,” or these sleazy videos that you see or ads that make you feel really uncomfortable. Or just going out to a bar and talking to someone and feeling like they have ulterior motives or they’re just not representing themselves. The question is, what does being authentic feel like? What does it look like? How do you know when you’re being authentic? How do you get there? How do you use it in order to expand your relationships, your business, and your life? The easiest definition that I’ll throw out there is being unapologetically you.
I would tie again on this and say that it very much is just being able to own the truth of all that you are. If you guys have listened to previous episodes as I assume you have, you’ll know that when we mentioned that we do mean the good, the bad, and the ugly. Being able to own all of you, all the parts that are fun and all the parts that maybe aren’t so fun.
That’s really what helps other people to see that you’re a freaking person. That you have more than just one dimension and you’re a real living thing. I spent a lot of time when I was building my business, constructing this image, this persona of the infallible coach. The coach who can do anything, has no problems, living a perfect life that everybody can look up to and everybody wants to be. I realized that only got me so far. It got me into a certain level and then it got me stuck, and that was really because I only appealed to a certain number of people who really felt like they needed that. When it came to my social life, that persona bled out into my interactions with other people and it really harmed my friendships and it made a big difference in my dating life because I wasn’t authentic. I wasn’t allowing people to see the good, bad and the ugly. I allowed them only to see the very best. I wasn’t a complete person in front of people and it was shooting me right in the foot.
Mine was actually on the opposite of that. It was coming from place of being vulnerable almost to a fault. I wasn’t giving myself permission to actually acknowledge how great I really was because I was afraid of making other people feel small. For me it was, “No. I’m not that. No, it’s no big deal. No, it’s okay. Don’t look at me. Let me dim my light. Let me not shine.” In the same sense, I wasn’t giving myself permission to really own that end of the spectrum to really show people like, “It’s awesome to be able to own your greatness. It’s awesome to be able to be fantastic at what you do and it’s awesome to be confident and feel great about it without being arrogant.” For me, it was that part of recognizing that, “You can be vulnerable and have all of these other parts and you can also be confident and be awesome at the same time.”
Now, you have a really good idea of both sides of the spectrum. When you go either way too far, everything starts breaking down. It really starts with your relationship with yourself being able to accept all parts of you as this beautiful thing that makes you a compelling character, a compelling person. We’ve hinted at it already, but really the idea here is about connection. You want to be authentic and as authentic as possible because authenticity leads to powerful, deep and fruitful relationships. What I mean by fruitful, it could be anything. It could just be having a good time with someone and you have a relationship with yourself. It could be having just a good time. Being you, alone in a room by yourself. It could be a fruitful business relationship or a workout buddy. It doesn’t matter.
Vulnerability, authenticity, full acceptance of yourself, they’re all important components of developing powerful and long-lasting and amazing relationships with yourself and other people. That’s why we’re devoting an entire episode to it. To all of the different facets of authenticity so that you know, first of all, what it feels like to be authentic because that’s going to be challenging. Even I get tripped up every once in a while. Am I really being truly authentic? Is this the deepest me? Then how to get to that. We will give you a couple of different techniques, a couple of different methods that you can use it anytime in order to check in on yourself and in order to push yourself, to consistently be even more authentic and allow your relationships and your connections to grow.
As we’re diving into this, let’s address one of the biggest facets about it. We’ve talked about this in previous episodes when it comes to recognizing in a sense these different personas or mask that we put on. Being the all authentic, awesome coach who doesn’t have any problems or being the vulnerable, not arrogant person who just is very humbling and recognizing those different parts of yourself, because we all have them. This is where I would reckon to say that we all have this wonderful thing called multiple personality disorder. Where we all have multiple personalities and ways that we show up and express ourselves in different circumstances, in different areas of our lives, depending on the social situation.
You’re not going to speak to your parents the same way that you’re going to speak to your best friends from high school. You’re not going to speak to your colleagues the same way that you’re going to speak to your girlfriend. It’s just becoming aware of what are these different personas and personality types that I have inside of me and getting okay with having each of them. Understanding their strengths and their weaknesses because each and every single one of them has them, and then giving yourself permission to have the fluidity to move through each of those pieces.
When we’re talking about the different facets of your personality, we can start talking about what acceptance actually feels like when you are viewing these different parts of you. In some parts, say when you’re hanging out with your parents, I used to be very uncomfortable every single time that we’d go to a family reunion because at that time, we’d go there and my family is chockfull of very influential scientists and professors, all of them and then there was me. The tattooed kid, living in California, depressed, doing nothing with his life and I would hate it.
It brings out this part of me that I really didn’t like. You could say, ” Here’s one of my personas and I freaking hate this part.” The first step of getting to be able to accept all of the different facets of each one of these personas is to be able to admit it to yourself and say that it’s all right to feel that way. That really the biggest damage that I was doing to myself in these situations was trying to reject that part of me. Trying to say that this is wrong, that I shouldn’t feel this way. That’s this is uncomfortable and I want to fight it.
That’s also when I started drinking a lot during family reunions. That made it a whole lot better. The tattooed kid who isn’t doing anything with his life is drunk again at the family reunion. It just dug me even deeper into the whole where I could have just escaped all that and just avoided it by saying like, “These things make me feel really uncomfortable.”Then when it would come time to me to talk and tell people about what’s going on in my life, had I just been honest and open and just said, “This is how I’m feeling right now and I’m okay with feeling really uncomfortable. That’s a part of me. This is what’s going on.”
You know what probably would’ve happened? Someone would have probably talked to me about that and would have probably eased my frustrations and my anxiety by letting me in and by letting me see a different side of them. That would’ve been very healing for me. There, we can see that being authentic to myself, and just saying, “This is what I’m going through. It sucks. I’m super uncomfortable, but I’m okay with it. This is part of me. I’m not going to fight it.”It could actually have allowed me to heal better, allowed them to help me overcome that. The first step is saying, “There’s a part of this persona, a part of this thing that’s going on that I’m not really cool with, that I don’t really love, that’s okay. I don’t need to fight it. I can just let it be and even admit it and let people in and see this part of me.”
We talked about this in previous episodes around making that jump from hate to love and understanding that it’s a process. You don’t just magically wake up one morning and you’re like, “This is amazing. I love every piece of this.” It’s a slow process of being like, “Maybe this part isn’t so bad. Maybe there are some things about this piece that I can actually like.” You slowly start to become more accepting of that piece and it’s through that process and understanding that it is a process that you can begin to integrate those parts to become part of the greater whole.
It goes both ways. There are always two sides to this and Sophie and I went over it before. You can go into a part of your persona that you do not like and then try to hide that or resist that and that can lead you into trouble because that’s inauthentic. The other side is learning how to accept when you do things well. Sophie was saying that she didn’t want to make other people feel small, so she actually dimmed her own light. That’s not authentic to you. That’s rejecting and resisting a part that you like. If you truly want it to be honest and open and accepting of yourself, then start that again. It doesn’t have to be jumping from hiding and resisting into being perfectly open and loving and generous with your information about all the things that you do well. It could start with you just quietly accepting that you’ve done something well. That there’s a part of you that you love or there’s a part of you that you think is really good or even a part of you that you’re content with.
Wherever you’re at, you can just start with accepting it. You don’t have to brag about it. You don’t have to boast or tell the world. Then if it comes time for you to talk about it, feel free to talk about it and you can even tell people. Here’s another part of acceptance. You can say, “I feel really awkward talking about this thing because I don’t want anybody else to feel small.” Call it out. Just say it right there. “I don’t want anybody else to feel really uncomfortable and it’s hard for me to talk about this, but I think that I did this or this or this really well and I’m proud about it.” There you get in touch with your authentic self by calling out and accepting what’s making you feel uncomfortable or comfortable or wherever you’re at because guaranteed, that the moment you show your authentic self, someone there will be able to connect with you and help you where you’re at, or at least accept you as well.
Here’s the big piece on this. It’s understanding that the more you tap into and you connect with different parts of yourself, the more that you can actually connect with other people’s different parts of themselves. Whereas maybe an example here would be a co worker where they didn’t know that you had this goofy, dorky side, but you start to show that and you’re able to connect with them in a way that you never were before because you weren’t allowing yourself to bring that part out. The beauty of this is recognizing that when you step into your authenticity, you’re actually able to create more connections and more authentic connections that feel great.
Whereas, the counterpart, when you have all of these connections, but they feel so inauthentic and that is painful. I can tell you, for a long time, especially having gone to university and trying doing sororities and Greek life, where you’re trying to be friends with people because you think that’s the way you’re supposed to be and then you just feel even worse. They’re not the relationships that you necessarily want to have. When you give yourself permission to say, “Maybe this isn’t me and maybe this is me.” You also start to shed off a lot of the layers and then you become a lot more weightless.
You got to think about the quality and depth of the relationships that you’re building. If you’re hiding who you really are, good, bad, and the ugly, and you’re only showing someone just one of the many different facets that creates you, how deep do you think relationship can go? If you build a friendship and that person knows only one thing about you, how real do you think that friendship can really be? Do you think that could really stand the test of time? What happens if that one thing in you changes? Then also, how does it feel for you? When you know that that person only likes you because of one thing? That’s the only thing you’ve shown them. What happens if you get tired? What happens if you change that? What happens if that’s not really you in the first place?
Then that means that entire relationship is fake and how does that feel? When you show everybody, and I’m not saying immediately show everybody everything. You don’t have to do that. When you’re showing even more of yourself and one part of you may think, “If I show people even more of me, then less people will like me or more people will dislike me.” I’m going to say, “You’re absolutely right,” and that’s the best thing possible. If we’re talking about marketing, as you’re developing relationships, it’s like social marketing. In marketing they say, “If you try to talk to everybody, you end up talking to nobody.” I challenge you, go up to a group of people, don’t look at anybody in the eyes and try to talk to the entire group of people at once. They will all stop paying attention to you at the same time because you haven’t made a connection with any one person. They have no reason to listen to you.
[Tweet “Showing yourself out there and letting themselves weed themselves out, they’re doing you a favor.”]
What’s the same thing? If you’ve just blended yourself out, you’ve turned yourself into this formless, shapeless, colorless thing by hiding your truth because you want other people to accept you or like you, then they will actually have no reason to connect with you at all. You haven’t shown them anything that they can latch onto. You haven’t given them anything that they can connect with within themselves. Instead of being accepted, you’ll get the exact opposite. Really, what you want to do is move the opposite direction. When you show everybody everything, maybe this one quirk of yours will really piss off a bunch of the people who know you already.
What about the people who have the same quirk or they freaking love that quirk and are waiting for someone like you to show up because they have the same quirk? By showing it, you can develop even deeper relationships and you’ll find out that there are so many more people who feel and do the same exact things. They will love you for who you really are because you’re finally showing it. The people who don’t like you, good. They’re not your people anyway. Showing yourself out there and letting themselves weed themselves out, they’re doing you a favor. That’s even more time and more energy you can spend on your tribe.
This is huge because if we look at this from the business perspective because I think this makes so much more sense to people when you’re thinking about, “If I’m putting out a message of what I think is going to get a lot of clients in, I think is going to attract a lot of people,” you probably can because it’s something that’s worked for somebody. If it’s not in congruency or in alignment with who you really are, you’re going to attract a lot of clients that are equal to the message that you’re putting out.
They may not be the clients that you want to work with or the relationships that you want to have in your life. Although you’ll have a lot of them, they’re not going to be near the quality that you would really want or desire to have. That’s the whole piece when we’re talking about authenticity. It’s giving yourself permission to live in who you truly are and know that when people don’t agree or they don’t necessarily see eye to eye with you, that it has nothing to do with you and it has everything to do with them.
Let’s talk about what makes a real connection. Let’s say you have someone in front of you and you think that there might be a chance that you will connect and it’s time for you to show your authentic self. The question is, what really connects people the most? It’s not the highs. It’s not, believe it or not, the successes. It’s actually the exact opposite. I’ll give you two different situations here. One, if a friend came to tell you about a vacation, what story would be more compelling for you?
The story in which everything went well, everything went on time, everybody had a great time and it all went perfectly or the story of where it starts off by them missing their flight. Two people got sick on the plane, another person got straight up lost at Disney World for a day, but at the end of it, everybody had an amazing time. Obviously, the second one because, yes, there’s drama, but also you know what it’s like to have someone gets sick on a vacation. Maybe, you’ve been that one or someone has gotten lost. You know trials and tribulations. These are the things that connect us because they add in the drama that we’re all living.
There are so many people out there who are successful because they’re born into it or they’re given. There are a lot of people who were born rich and so they succeed just from existing. Nobody cares. Nobody gives at all until something happens and it goes wrong. Then we feel like we can connect with them. The stories of success that really get people intrigued and interested always start with or involve at some point, some big challenge, a slip, a fall, a tragedy, a struggle, a pain, some darkness. That is something we all share. We might not have all made millions of dollars, but we do know what it’s like to look at ourselves in the mirror and hate what we’re seeing. Or think about it that way. Look at ourselves and wonder how could things have gotten so bad? I guarantee almost everybody here, you felt that at some point. When we connect on that level, that allows us to open up to each other’s people.
I’m going to give you another example here. My mind always goes to superheroes. There are a lot of movies and I’m a superhero dork. I’ve never really been able to connect with Superman ever. I just don’t understand why anybody does. He’s built to be perfect. The dude can fly around the world fast enough to reverse time and doesn’t even mess up his hair. He has nothing wrong with them. The only weakness that he’s got is a green rock that comes from the other freaking side of the galaxy. Give me a break. He can do anything. There’s nothing there for me to grab onto.
However, somebody like Batman, dark, messed up, could argue, is depressed, angry, has family issues, has relationship issues, has intimacy issues. I’m like, “Me too. I’ll go through all of that. I know exactly what that feels like.” We can connect. I’m like, “Maybe we aren’t that far apart.” The gorgeous thing is that the moment I see that, I’m like, “I’m on board,” and then I’m rooting for him. Then when he succeeds, I feel like a part of me succeeds. If someone can go from there and go there, maybe I can, too. By showing your authenticity, by showing people all sides of you, you can connect and go on this adventure together.
What this comes down to what I believe is it’s showing you’re human. It’s really connecting through your humanness. The more that you show that like, “I am all of this. I’ve got the days that I don’t want to get out of bed. I’ve got the days where I just want to sit on the couch and eat a bunch and watch chick flicks and cry and feel great about it. Then there are days where I want to go to the gym and I want to feel amazing. There’s also times when I just feel really shitty,” and that’s okay. It’s understanding that that’s part of being human.
Just as Dan has mentioned here, the more that you can connect to people on a human level, not by being perfect and having it all, but through your humanness, through your flaws, the more that people can really relate, connect to you, and it’s where you can start to help raise that vibrational frequency. When you connect with people at a certain level, there’s a certain amount of trust that’s built there and with that trust, you can then help them or empower them to relate to you. As you raise your own emotional state, you can help raise the state of others.
If you’re curious about how to raise the vibrational frequencies, we actually had an episode about that a couple episodes back about vibrational frequencies and emotions. It does start when we’re talking about relationships with opening up to each other. You’ve got to give someone a reason to listen to you really. A reason to care about what you have to say or who you are or what you have to offer. At this point, you might also be thinking, “I get what you’re saying. Connections and then I have a chance to raise the vibe and then help each other, but if I let people in, if I let people see what’s wrong, aren’t they going to think that I’m weak? Aren’t they going to take advantage of me? Aren’t they going to in some way lose respect for me?”
The answer is, “Yes. If you open up and you think that it is a weakness.” When you open up and you let people see the darker sides, the more human sides, the more flawed sides of you, but you do it with self-judgment and you do it by actually beating up on yourself, then it becomes a weakness. Absolutely, you’re opening up the door for someone to step in and do whatever. They can smell blood in the water and you’re going to attract sharks that way. However, if you open up and you show people your humanness, you show people who you really are, all of it, and you do it with strength, you do it with power, you do it with acceptance, then that becomes the most powerful connection tool. You’ll be able to instantly start working on raising those vibes. Ultimately, everybody wants to know that it’s okay to be flawed.
We’re all at some point in our lives, maybe even right now looking for someone to validate us despite our struggles, to say that it’s okay and even better to tell us that we’re going to be outright and even better. That starts by giving an example. That’s one of the reasons why I often tell my story of how I was very depressed for most of my life and even suicidal. It’s not because I’m saying, “It’s me.”There’s no self-judgment in there. In fact, if you’ve ever really heard me tell my story, there’s nothing but gratitude.
That’s a really powerful way to share saying like, “I was super messed up for a long time and even now, I get stuck in my head over analyzing conversations or things that went down between me and other people and I can catch myself.” I can bring myself back and I can heal myself out through why was I over analyzing? Why was I doing that and getting into the other side of things? It’s important to be able to do that. If I came with self-judgment, it would be a completely different story. When you open up, that’s your difference. Remember to come with the state of acceptance and let people in powerfully. “This is who I am and that’s okay. Then you can immediately start raising your vibes together.
From there, this is where you become what Dan and I like to refer to as magnetic. You start to actually attract opportunity and possibility into your life because of who you are. Again, if you want to refer back to previous episodes, go back to where we talked about vibrational frequencies and how you attract different opportunity based on your vibrational frequency and/or your emotional state. How when you’re living on a certain emotional state, opportunities equal to that emotional state will show up.
Relationships, people will start to show up that are equal to the emotional state that you’re eliciting. When you’re living in authenticity, when you’re living in integrity, when you’re living in the truth of who you are, in accepting all of that coming from a place of love and acceptance. Then you start to attract opportunities, places, people that are equal to that and life just becomes so much more exciting.
Another way to think about that is that the moment you start really being you and showing people the quirky, funny, goofy, or maybe sometimes sad or upset or struggling part of you, the good, bad and the ugly, you will start attracting other people who appreciate that. People who resonate with it and people who have either gone through it, who can help you, who are going through it, who can commiserate you, and you can become a team to get through it together or who want to get through it themselves and will look at you as a mentor, as a teacher, as a coach, as a guide. All of these relationships are beautiful. It starts with just letting people see you. That’s why certain groups of friends get really addicted to each other.
I know that I had a moment when I was healing, I was 28 or 29, were a couple of my friends after a party cornered me and they all stood in a line and I felt like I was immediately put under the spotlight. I remember them telling me that at first, a couple years before that they didn’t really like me at all. At that point, I was really firmly stuck in my depression and all sorts of messed up and twisted, but that over the last couple of years, I’ve become one of their favorite people and that they had seen what I was going through. They had gotten to know my journey because I was finally opening up to them and letting them know why I was the way that I was and what I was doing and how things are going. They told me there that that was a big turning point for them and our relationship.
Since then, they’ve grown to really appreciate and even love me as a friend. They just wanted to let me know that I would never have the hide again and that I could really be me and that the more I show them of who I was and where I was coming from, the more they appreciated me. That they’d be there for me for whatever was going on in my life. That was a really big moment for me. That was the first moment maybe that I really ever felt like I had a tribe. That people actually could see me and they’re became that real deep friendship and that feeling is addictive.
When you have that relationship, you really do become that magnetic. That’s what they were telling me. That I had become magnetic to the moment that I let them in. That I was repelling them like the opposite side of the magnet at first, because I was trying so hard to hide everything. The moment that I let that go, they became magnetized. We became magnetized to each other, me for the acceptance and the love that I wanted so badly at the time and that helped me heal, but also then to me because they can finally see this person who was standing in front of them. When we’re talking about magnetism, that’s it. That’s how you begin to build those deliciously addictive relationships.
Let’s share with those listening a few tips on really how you can start to step into that authenticity and what they can do to really start living life that way so you can start to experience more of what it feels like to live in your most authentic self.
[Tweet “Seek ways to be compassionate with other people, even if you’ve never talked or interacted with them.”]
This is your task for this episode. What I want you to do to really practice this is as you’re going about your daily life, look for people who seem to be having a bad time, who seem to be going through something or seem to be nasty, treating other people in a less than positive way. Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to step into their shoes and you’re going to see if you can come up with a bunch of different reasons that they would act that way knowing that nobody wants to be nasty and nobody wants to be mean to each other.
That the only time we really do that is if we’re currently experiencing struggle or pain or stress or some discomfort or if we’d been feeling it for so long that we’ve trained ourselves to be that way. When someone thinks that the world is threatening for so long, they could become very brittle and very nasty. If someone’s super stressed out, they might snap at people or their children or they might be rude to each other. If they’re in a panic, they might cut each other off in traffic. The very first thing is seeking ways to be compassionate with other people, even if you’ve never talked or interact with them. Seek out ways that you can see, “This person didn’t really mean to or didn’t really want to do that, but it’s just this could be going on inside of their lives.”
Maybe they’ve been single for so long and feeling like no one loves them that they’ve just become really sad and nasty to other people. Maybe they think that people have been nasty to them. That will open up your heart and that’ll be the very first big step to you allowing yourself to reveal yourself to other people is see what’s going on inside of other people. The moment you can feel that, the moment you start going through these reasons why other people are behaving the way that they are behaving, you will start naturally connecting with it. “I know what that feels like,” and you’ll start softening up to other people.
You’ll start feeling that maybe we’re not all that different. Maybe I can see past to this behavior. Maybe if we started talking, maybe I actually would like this person. Even if you’re looking at someone screaming at a Barista at Starbucks for giving them the wrong kind of milk, you can get to that point. Then step two is once you practice this enough and you can start feeling like, “I think I can relate with even more people and even deeper ways.” Now, it’s time to start letting people see that in you.
Then start with your friends. Start out with your really close co-workers, the people who already know you. The safe people. Then if you’re going through something without complaining, remember go through it for a powerful state, go to this with the intent of connecting powerfully. If something’s going on, you can just say, “Just to let you know, I’m really stressing. Money’s been really tight. This is going on. I know we’re hanging out right now, but just so you know, if you feel any tension for me, it’s just because I’m really worried about this.” That’s not a complaint.
That’s just to let people know what’s going on inside of your mind, what’s going on inside of your heart so that maybe they can connect with you and then just pay attention. Then just see how these people respond. A couple of different things, one, they can react negatively to it and that’s a really good sign to let this person freaking go. Let him go. If they respond negatively to you being your authentic self, that means we’ve only shown them so little of your personality already that they don’t even know you at all. That’s either the time to build this relationship or for me, I’ll just let him go.
Then you can have a neutral response, which may mean that they don’t know how to handle the situation, which is perfectly fine because you showing yourself might be a new thing. That I would say is an opportunity there to say, “Okay. Cool.” Then slowly let it out even more of your authentic self, get them acquainted with this other side of you and maybe they’ll learn how to open up themselves and they’ll learn how to connect. Through that, you’ll forge of beautiful relationship. Then the other side is they’ll respond positively. They’ll connect with you. Maybe they’ll give you advice. Maybe I’ll ask if they could help you. Maybe they’ll just say, “Me, too.”
I went through this time or I am going through this time and then you’ll be able to bond and connect. Really that’s gorgeous. That’s the best thing that could possibly happen. That’ll just encourage you hopefully to let out even more and even more frequently. Now, you have this two-step process to even greater acceptance of other people, even greater acceptance of yourself, even greater authenticity that will then translate into all sides of your life. I think you’re going to learn that your relationships really depend on it and you can build gorgeous ones with just a little bit of authenticity here and there.
From there, as we all know, very well, relationships become the foundation for so many other different areas of your life. As you transform your relationship yourself, you transformed the relationships around you. You really, truly can transform your entire life. Thank you guys so much for tuning in and we will see you all on the next episode.
- Vibrational Frequencies – previous episode
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