5 Expert Tips to Being Your Best Self
Many times, we are thrust into careers, relationships and other situations where we might feel that it is difficult to be our authentic selves. So how do we navigate the balancing act between being our true selves while still propelling our career goals, relationships, dreams, and aspirations forward? Experts Laura Berger, Founding Principle of Berdéo Group, and Bari Schanerman of The Thrive Group, weigh in on this important topic.
1. Honor Your Authentic Self, But Be Willing to Shift
Being true to yourself and your core values is an important component of all facets of your life. But both of our experts say that it is equally important to have the flexibility and willingness to make small shifts that might be needed for growth, without sacrificing your true self.
“A drawback to being authentic is not having the ability to be open to growth,” says Laura Berger. “Sometimes, you need to move to an adapted self – honor yourself, but also shift something specific about your behavior that is going to meet your own needs and the needs of others. If you’re moving in an organizations and being so true to your core values and beliefs and are not willing to explore things out of your comfort zone, it can derail your goals.”
2. Recognize When It Might Be Time for a Change
As important as it is to be able to shift out of your comfort zone, you shouldn’t feel that none of your personal values match with those of your company. Bari Schanerman says that you must know what your values are and what your company’s values are, and work out whether or not there is a way to match them. “Sometimes, there are companies that we really can’t work for because the values are so different,” she says.
“If you are finding that your best self is just not being embraced, it may be a signal that maybe it’s time for a change,” says Laura. “Because change is inevitable in all that we do, it’s a matter of looking at the extent of misalignment that you’re feeling. Are you an 8 to 10, or more like a 2, 3, or 4? Gauge it in a measurement to give you a better pulse as to what action is needed to take based on the circumstances.
3. Be True to Your Goals and Aspirations
If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Fake it until you make it” and thought that that feels inauthentic to your true self, our experts suggest reframing the language to help you grow.
“Shift ‘fake it until you make it’ to ‘embody who/what you’re moving towards,’” Bari says.
Laura adds that “if you want to be the CEO, you need to be thinking and acting like a CEO now so that you begin to embody that. I don’t think that’s being inauthentic—you’re being true to your goals and aspirations.”
However, Bari cautions that if you feel that what you are being asked to “fake until you make it” goes against what you want or who you are, maybe that position is not right for you.
4. Surround Yourself with a Network That’s Aligned with Your Values
This isn’t always necessarily your family. While that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with them and still get along with everyone, you might have to accept that your values simply don’t align with theirs and accept them for who they are and what they believe.
Having a network outside of your family that does align with your values can help. “You’re not going to ‘win the battle’ of trying to get them to understand you,” says Laura. “That is energy that could be focused more on being with those who will help you thrive and nourish who you are and what you represent.”
5. Think of an Iceberg When Sharing on Social Media
Social media has become a mainstay of our day-to-day lives, but it can be difficult to find a balance between over-sharing and appearing artificially happy all the time. To work out this balance, Laura recommends using an iceberg as your model for social media sharing.
“Dip beneath the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you’re sharing,” she says, “so you can bring forward something that will create connection for you and have an impact on others in ways that may help them. I wouldn’t recommend going to the bottom of the iceberg. This can be a little too heavy. Find a balance between being a total Debbie Downer and being ‘happy, happy, happy’ all the time.”
Bari suggests having a set of criteria or filters through which you decide what you’re putting on social media and what you’re not. “Unfortunately, when we share something, people can see different intentions with it,” she says. “Be comfortable that anything that you share is good for any audience.”
Being your authentic self at home, at work, and even when posting on social media can feel like a balancing act. Our experts recommend allowing yourself to expand and grow outside of your comfort zone, as long as whatever it is that you are being asked to do still largely aligns with your core values and beliefs.
Please join us for our next Just Ask TCI virtual discussion, which happen from noon to 1:00 ET on the third Friday of every month. These programs are free and open to the public, so bring your friends, grab some lunch, and join in on the discussion!