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Being more authentic in our work

Updated: May 20, 2021

I recently received a newsletter from a marketing coach entitled ‘Stop Being Authentic’. Their view was that we shouldn’t show up as we really are, or feel, because we should always strive to put our ‘best self’ forward. They also stated: 'your brand doesn’t exist for you, it exists for the people you serve'.

Now, I beg to differ and here’s why:

One of the reasons I decided to leave 30+ years of full-time employment and start up my own business was that I was tired of ‘performance’, tired of trying to fit myself into the wrong shape and having to ‘play the game’ (whatever the particular game of that organisation was).

I wanted to work for myself, not only for the reasons above, but also for creative freedom and flexibility, and the wish to align my work in the world more closely with who I really am.

I’ve put heart and soul and a lot of energy into developing my business offerings. And to my surprise, a familiar pattern has arisen, in which I’ve been noticing a ‘pushy’ tendency in myself (with no external boss to project that onto now!)

I’ve been exploring this theme in my previous articles on rest (here, here and here). In this piece, I’m looking at it from a slightly different angle and my hope is that this may have some resonance for you too.

I feel vulnerable revealing this, but here goes: after almost four decades of working full-time, I’m rather tired of striving, trying to be competent at everything I do, and wanting to be ‘successful’

Being authentic, honest, and open about my struggles with this pushy tendency may be one of the braver things a woman in business can do!

My gut feeling says that this may give permission to other people to recognise and perhaps share how they're really feeling too.

Can you sense the relief in this already?