“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. Spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” ~ Susan Taylor
This past weekend I attended a Toastmasters conference at which there was a good mix of generations, though the largest representation consisted of Baby Boomers. In multiple conversations, I explored the intersection between being authentic, honest and open, and communicating. After all, it was a gathering of Toastmasters so the topic was relevant.
With lead-in variations, I would remark that in a world where success is defined by money, and happiness is just a weight-loss plan away, many of us have lost sight of our most valuable asset: our true selves. Then I’d ask many with whom I spoke, “What, in your view, constitutes being in good faith?” “And how can we, as fairly well-developed messengers, communicate with even more authenticity?
What I heard from seasoned and successful speakers was, in my mind, valuable. One person felt it was important to remember that even if you feel you have something to share that no one else can offer, be careful not to be intimidated by the time and energy it can take to get your message out into the world. When you know you have a story worthy of others’ hearing, use the urgency of your wisdom to bring the message to life. Don’t be deterred by hesitancy; own and claim who you are and what you have to say.
Another colleague shared the importance of exploring what the people you serve want and need. It’s not always about what you think people ought to hear. He recommended, never let fear get in the way of your truth and what you have to share. Once you gain clarity about other people’s desires, the importance of your message can be seen through new, appreciated eyes. Empower yourself to confidently and openly give others what you have to offer.
Whether you recognize it or not, each of us has something to share with others. So how can you give while living your true colors? Consider these three ways:
- Be honest about who you really are. Many people who do not like who they have become waste time and energy trying to be like someone else. Eventually, their true colors; the truth of who they really are is revealed. If this is you, don’t wait until you tire pretending. Just be honest with yourself. You may like it. 🙂
- Be honest with your purpose(s). When you intend honestly, you may still make mistakes. Mistakes are correctable and forgivable. Instead, strive to be true to who your character is reflected to others.
- Be openly visible and vulnerable. When your passions meet a receptive audience (or market), be prepared for a shift. Rather than letting fear reign in your life, be visible and vulnerable, knowing that you’re on to something powerful. This will diminish (if not eliminate) reservations about reaching out to your audience and serving them with what has become convincingly clear to you and for them.