I recently read the excerpt below from one of my friend’s products and could not get it out of my head. I put the words on a Post-it and look at it everyday. The advice is about marketing, but it’s actually about life. I sighed with relief when I read it and I felt happy that same night, so I know the two are related. And I make it a practice to find out the specifics when I feel happy.
Here’s the excerpt:
ACTIVELY be yourself
When you communicate with people, tell them ACTUAL stories about your life
a.) Play up the parts of yourself that are most relevant to your cause
b.) That shows people the most important parts of what you do
c.) Find the people who care about those things, and tell them your stories
Be audaciously active in seeking out people who are passionate about things you care about
Be yourself on a BIG SCALE
It will make you happy AND successful
This is marketing, but it’s also about a good life.
The kind of life where you show up beautifully and with pride and people get it and follow you because of it. That’s the kind of life I want.
Everything in the online/blogging world touts “Be you”—which is both wonderful and unbelievably hard to do. I’m encouraged to be myself, but it’s tough because I’m very different at any given moment. And I’m always learning more. I’m beginning to understand my nuances as a publisher, as a coach and consultant, as a writer. I’m learning even more about what’s important to me personally. These things change right now, even as I write this.
It’s a challenge to know which me should show up and when.
Showing up as myself is my biggest asset in my career—talking with authors about marketing, coaching people through fears, writing, and building my business. It’s what draws people to me and it’s my story they want to hear. When I show up fully and help someone by simply being who I am, it is divine. There’s nothing better. But to get to that point takes a lot of not getting it right, at least initially. So I enjoy who I am, but I also know I have more to learn about this world—where I say the word “client” without feeling funny or write about something I hope you like.
So while my voice is singular and important, there are things I’m working on which need to be refined. And it’s this no-man’s land in between, of knowing you’re awesome but having room to grow, that is a struggle to navigate. It’s hard to reveal the unpolished parts of ourselves.
But there is tremendous power in being you. In the middle of the stickiness, you can say, “Yes, I’m confused. But the simple solution is to tell the truth.” Cut through the thinking to your truth, even if it is unpolished, unrefined.
What puts you closer to feeling open and light, like I felt that day, is right. Don’t question it. I know when it feels good to be me and how necessary it is, and from the advice above I see the added bonus of it working in my business too. I take from that that my life will be interesting, confusing, and lovely—and that’s okay because that’s my truth.
Ishita Gupta is the publisher of fear.less magazine. She worked at The Domino Project, runs the Potential Project, and helps people overcome fear and design their best lives. She also consults for authors and businesses on marketing and publishing.