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Earlier this week, I wrote and posted blog post on the subject of being myself. I even recorded a video about it because I truly think that authenticity is the key to making a connection when communicating but as I sat down to write that post, I struggled with a blank screen. The white space of the word doc seemed to taunt me as I tried to put my idea into words. I had the concept but I couldn’t find the tone.

I struggled and struggled until finally, I asked myself a question that totally changed my perspective. It was a simple question with a complex answer that sparked all of the creativity that I needed. What was it that I asked?

How would the person I want to become write this?

If I were as successful as I want to be, if I have achieved the goals that I’ve set, if I lived the life that I want to live, how would I write this? If I had the courage to honestly tell my story, warts and all, how would I tell it? That’s when it got easy.

At this point, you might be thinking I’ve lost my mind.

How can I advocate both being yourself and pretending to be the person you want to become? Aren’t these two completely unrelated concepts? Aren’t I totally crazy.

I might be, but not for this.

You see, picturing the person I want to become gives me the courage to be myself. Answering that question doesn’t make me pretend to be someone else; it makes me focus on being my best. It writes a map for authenticity.

The person that I want to become would be confident enough in himself to share an unflattering story from his past that has a lesson that he can still learn from. The person I want to become would be passionate enough about the topic of honest communication that he would have to tell his story. I would be brave. I would be honest. I would be me.

From that place, picturing that person, the story was easy to tell and that’s where the courage and strength to be authentic comes from. When we know how the person we want to become will handle the situation.

The next time you have to speak. Whether it’s a friendly conversation, a sales call or a presentation to hundreds of people, ask yourself, How would the person I’d like to become handle this? When you answer this question, you’ll find your courage to be yourself.

 

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