"I feel like a total phony" one of my girlfriends uttered as we were catching up over chai tea at a local café.
Jo has been running her own accounting business for a few years now and has finally come to realize that she doesn't have to pretend to be someone else.
Sounds a lot easier than it truly is!
Before starting her own small accounting business, Jo used to work in the corporate world where wearing suits and throwing around fancy words was in order.
In her spare time, Jo loves wearing ripped up jeans, oversized t-shirts and runs a constant potty mouth.
The whole suit in business wasn't really her thing, but even though she now ran her own show, she still slipped into a boring suit every morning before heading into her office because that's what she thought she had to do. Until recently, when she decided to step more into who she truly was, a cheeky, stylish and vibrant business owner who, despite her dirty sense of humor and love of swearing, truly cares for her clients.
Of course, Jo still dresses the way society deems respectful, but she got rid of her suits and stopped walking around with a dictionary, throwing around fancy words and truly speaking to her clients with heart.
Her change made a huge difference not only on her own happiness but her clients have noticed a shift in her, noting the charisma and spark when they work together. In a sea of boring accountants, Jo stands out. And more importantly, Jo now feels more congruent with her personality.
Jo's story is no exception!
Sometimes we think we need to be or act a certain way to fit into an environment, dimming our light and compromising who we truly know we are. If we do this long enough, we might even confuse ourselves.
Of course, in certain job positions we can't just rock up in trashy sneakers, but we also don't have to leave everything we love at the back of the closet. In fact, people are attracted to realness, not grayness. Unfortunately a lot of people are taught to walk around with a façade from a very early age to fit in.
Rather than dimming your own light, why not try turning it up. Not just in how you dress, but also in how you speak, how you write emails, how you talk, how you interact, how you go about every-day life! If you love electric blue, why wear a grey suit, or if you do, why not wear an electric blue scarf or accessorize with a bright blue bag? If you are a tad cheeky, why not drop the occasional joke.
The world needs a bit more color or we will become a uniform mass of human beings who are not living life authentically and in comfort, knowing they're truly being themselves. Frankly, without a bit of individuality life could end up being a little boring.