Feeling like you have to pretend to be someone else to achieve success? Learn 3 reasons why letting your freak flag fly could be the key to accomplishing your goals.
As I stood there, camera in hand trying to take a Kardashian-worthy selfie to showcase how absolutely perfect everything in my life was: booming business, stylish lifestyle, and happy beyond belief, nothing could be farther from the truth.
I was broke, lonely, and the dress I wore still had the tag attached...you know, in case I needed to return it to buy groceries.
I smiled (painfully), uploaded the photo to Facebook with the requisite "life is great now that I have my own business" story and guess what....nothing.
Not a single "like", comment, or share.
I didn't understand why it wasn't working! I was doing everything "right", right? I was doing exactly what everyone else was doing and following the prescribed formula for success to a T.
Little did I know that the one thing that was missing from that no-fail formula was ME.
In trying to be someone else it was as if I was admitting that I was ashamed of being me.
Real talk: I WAS ashamed.
I was terrified of what people would think of me if they knew the truth.
What if they found out that sometimes (often) I sit on the floor in my pajamas for hours with blurry computer eyes working on my biz instead of at a chic white desk decorated with inspirational quotes in girly frames that every self-employed businesswoman seems to be required to own?
What if they learned that I was once a total doormat searching for my worth through other people (a far cry from the Dream Girl moniker I had adopted in my business)?
Worst of all, what if they discovered that I was still dragging myself into my part-time bridge job when I was supposed be off living my Dream Life every single second?
Frustrated to the brim and this close to giving up, I decided to come clean. I told my story; the whole truth. And as I pressed submit I felt a huge release...immediately followed by wave of panic that from the feeling of being exposed.
F*ck it, I thought after the third glass of wine at a not-so-quite happy hour with a girlfriend. I'm so over this anyways so who even cares what happens?
Guess what? Over 300 people cared!
When I returned to my computer I was surprised to see the comments that awaited me from hundreds of women who could relate to my story and my inbox was FULL of messages from women who appreciated my transparency.
Then, to my surprise, buried under all of that: my first request from a REAL paying client!
Say, what?! Seriously?! You mean to tell me that all I have to do is be ME to finally go from dedicated hobbyist providing services for free to having an actual business with PROFITS?!
The answer to that question is hell YES. And the reason why basically comes down to the Know-Like-Trust factor that you MUST build in order to create real relationships...business or otherwise.
Know. In the grand scheme of things, most people within the same industry are very similar to each other. If I were to hold job interviews for a new personal assistant, I'd probably have to weed through quite a few applicants who pretty much all have the same set of skills and qualifications that I'm looking for. How do I decide who to hire?
With all else being equal, I'm most likely to hire the one that I vibe with the most. Basically, I’m going to choose the person who it feels like I already know because intuitively I’ll sense that my life will be easier this way.
Let people get to know the real you. It might be exactly what they are looking for.
Like. These days people want more than a service or a product. They want an experience. That experience usually has very little to do with you and has everything to do with them. When someone likes or dislikes you it actually says more about them than it does about how awesome you happen to be.
When they are engaging with you through your services or your products they are focused on what's in it for them; what experience they will have as a result.
Wanna know what type of experience people LOVE to have more than anything else? People LOVE to feel good about themselves!
The easiest way to encourage other people to feel really good about themselves is for YOU to feel really good about yourself. We are all mirrors for each other. If you are walking around pretending to be someone else, you're probably going to end up attracting other frauds and nobody will be happy.
Be the real you. Let people decide for themselves if they like you or not and you'll make life easier for everyone.
Trust. Most people over the age of 22 have at least some natural bull-shit detector skills and nobody trusts a liar. Faking it until you make it is one thing, but completely misrepresenting yourself is going to leave people feeling that something is a little...off.
Have you ever dated someone who seemed totally amazing and put together only to later find out they are total hoarders living in their parent's garage (true story)? Complete let-down, right? (For an even more extreme example of this, check out the trailer for The Perfect Guy. Creepy!)
You see, even if you get away with your lie in the beginning, once whoever you are trying to impress actually gets to know you a bit better they are going to be PISSED. AND, they are going to tell everyone who will listen about it. Once that trust is broken it is very unlikely that you will ever get it back.
To avoid ALL of that drama, just be you. Trust me: it's enough.
Alicia Eccles is a self-ascribed Dream Girl and Founder of Dream Girl Strategies, coaching women and girls to reach their full potential in business, love, and life. A tiny girl from Detroit who now enjoys the sunny beaches of Los Angeles like a true California girl, Alicia has combined her specialized training in psychology, education, and behavioral health with her deep passion for self-development to show women from all walks of life how to manifest their dreams strategically (not desperately). Alicia loves hosting the happiest of happy hours, pretending to speak Spanish while dancing Bachata, and empowering women (and men!) to live happier, healthier, sexier lives.
You can find more info at www.dreamgirlstrategies.com