A “Symphony of Your Life” blog with Mark Hardcastle
In case you missed it, here’s Part 3.
For now, can we move the focus away from being “authentic” according to how others see us and on to being the best version of ourselves in the moment, based on the situation and the role that we are engaged in right now?
At networking, for instance, when they ask what you do, why not say, “I’d be happy to tell you, but tell me about you first,” to create context for your answer.. so you’ll know which hat to take out to be of greatest service?
It’s an undeniable reality of being human that we all have different and legitimate roles we assume in different situations. We wear uniforms, white coats, robes and vestments. Different hats at different times. Does this mean we’re being inauthentic? I don’t think so.
What are some of your “roles?” I act in turns as an airline captain, a father, an author, a musical conductor, a husband, a public speaker, and a real estate investor. All different roles I’ve created for myself over the years. When I’m acting in my capacity as a captain am I somehow being disloyal to my duties as a father or to my love of music?
Of course not. My “audience” needs a captain, so that’s how I show up. I’m being the best me I can be for that audience in that moment. It would be silly for me to show up as a real estate agent.
Maybe we can put this whole idea of feeling like an imposter to bed with this idea from Harvard researcher, Amy Cuddy. She tells us that her research has revealed that our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviors, and our behaviors change our outcomes. We can do some specific exercises that will start the chain reaction toward our best outcomes as a result of presenting as our best selves. She calls these exercises “power poses,” and they take only two minutes. We can apply them every time we approach a high stakes moment in our lives.
And she tells a powerful story of a high stakes moment in her own life when she was challenged to step into the best version of herself despite feeling desperately inadequate and deeply afraid of being “found.” And succeeding. Of fighting her hard battle. And winning.
How did she manage to do that? She created a role for herself, stepped into it, and behaved as if it was who she really was. Until that became true. That is, she faked it until she became it.
Finally, as we continue to struggle with “being” rather than “seeming,” we might take comfort from this: “4 Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work…” Mark 6:4-5 (KJV) Which was a shame, and a loss for his home town. But if even he was considered a fake by those who knew him, maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad.
So, Authentic Performer, how are you going to show up today? Maybe more clearly, who will you be when you show up? Will you show up as… You? Which you?
Before you answer, watch this video: Amy Cuddy’s Amazing Story.
Then go find yourself an audience. Like Jesus, you may have to go some distance. Go there. Show up. Do your work. Be you – the best you that you can be in the most appropriate form for that audience on that day. And if you need to, feel free to fake it. It’ll be just fine.
Esse Quam Videri.
Thanks for reading!
The Symphony of Your Life