by Deborah Hartung, founder of PivotPeople Tech
Pretty much everywhere you turn these days, you’re confronted with some kind of media telling you to be ‘authentic’ and to always stay true to yourself. As you know, I am personally a major proponent of being unapologetically YOUnique, and my entire brand is built around this ethos. But there is a shadow side that most people never talk about – it’s really tough going sometimes.
I know what it’s like and want you to know that you’re not alone in feeling it may sometimes be easier just to ‘sell out’ and be who and what they tell you to be. Please don’t relent and please don’t water yourself down to be more popular or to be accepted by more people. Don’t trade your authenticity for popularity.
Here’s how I handle the challenges:
Self-awareness is obviously the cornerstone of being authentic and aligning all that you do with who you truly are. The fact of the matter is, that none of us are the same today as we were a year ago or five or 10 years ago, because our life experiences change us and our values also change over time. That’s why it’s important to keep re-acquainting yourself with ‘you’ and to realize when its time to let go of a portion of your life or daily practices that no longer serve you. It may be that certain friendships or relationships have run their course or that some of the coping mechanisms you had developed previously, have no place in your life right now and don’t serve to support the woman you are becoming. Its ok to release all of those things with love and to make room for new experiences and new people in your life.
Trust your Intuition
One of the most self-destructive things we all do, is to compare ourselves to others or to try and apply some ‘success formula’ or ‘strategy’ to our journey. Just because a sales strategy worked for one person, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you to do. Much like finding the right shoes, one size doesn’t fit all and we need to have faith in our own personal abilities and trust our journey. For me personally, this past year has been a rollercoaster in my professional life and I have had to make some very tough choices – choices that affect not only me, but my entire family as well. I was reminded once again that every single time I didn’t listen to my gut feeling and trust my intuition, things didn’t turn out as favorably as they could have. Being forced into a box and having clients expect me to do things that are out of integrity with who I am, made me physically ill and exhausted me emotionally. It wasn’t worth the money.
Follow your own Path
I honestly believe that each of us has a unique purpose in this life and we each have our own route and our own path to follow. When confronted with so many different choices and seeing what others are doing, it is easy to want to just do a bit of everything and hope that we will find the right path. I have learned that that is not how the journey works. As hard as it is sometimes seeing other women doing all kinds of things that I believe I should be doing, I remind myself that they are following their path and I need to stay in my own lane and do the things that make my soul sing.
When you are doing something that isn’t aligned with your values and your purpose, you can feel it. Please learn to trust that feeling and to trust yourself and your purpose, even when it would be so much easier to just follow the formula or do what you’re being told to do. I know it’s not easy walking away from people or opportunities, but it is necessary to do so if those are not the right people or opportunities for you. You will bloom in your own time and in the environment that is right for you. You just need to keep on being your unique, beautiful, flawed, resilient and magical self and don’t give up on her for anything or anyone.
Deborah Hartung is a consultant, coach, author and speaker, and the founder of Pivot PeopleTech. She loves helping entrepreneurs find their unique voice and leadership style in order to empower them to create amazing places where people truly want to work. She has spent the majority of her career in HR and labour relations management and consulting, gaining experience in all fields related to the human experience in the workplace. While her main focus remains on consulting, coaching and training in the HR and labour relations space, Deborah is passionate about people and technology and the opportunities for the advancement of humanity in the digital age. Professionally, Deborah is known as an HR turnaround specialist with a proven track record in improving workplace culture, employee engagement and organisational effectiveness. www.pivotpeopletech.co.za
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