Imagine this scenario:
You’re at the office and your colleagues are yukking it up about the big sports game that everyone but you seems to have watched the night before. You didn’t watch it because (a) you’re not a sports fan and (b) you had a big cultural celebration with your family. Because you’ve never talked about your culture or how much you hate sports with your work colleagues before, but you also don’t want to feel like the odd one (which you already do!), you smile and nod vigorously, and pretend to know what happened at the game. But you feel like crap as you do this.
Or how about this:
You’re getting ready for an interview for your dream job. You’ve been wearing your hair naturally for the past few weeks and loving it. You briefly consider keeping it that way for the interview, but you worry it might not be “professional” enough and that you won’t be taken seriously. In the end you decide to straighten your hair for the interview in the hopes it’ll help you land the job. You feel frustrated that you have to this, but you do it anyway.
If you can relate to either one of these scenarios, you’re showing up as what I call your Performing Self. By “performing” I mean that life is a stage and you’re an actor on the stage, putting out a curated image of yourself. To put it simply, performing means that you’re changing who you are and masking your Authentic Self to gain social acceptance even though you don’t want to do this — and it feels awful to do!
I know firsthand how difficult it can be to perform all day long, day after day (as I laid out in my book, The Authenticity Principle). I struggled with being authentic for years because I was deflecting bias by putting out a curated image of myself and performing. It can feel disempowering and exhausting to constantly change how you dress, behave, speak, and more in order to “fit in”, or to shield against judgment or bias. So what can you do?
In this video, I share exactly how to push out of your Performing Self so that you can live your best, authentic life.
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