I spend so much time thinking about how to do the things I do better.
How to do more of those things. How to do them more efficiently.
And then I catch myself.
I miss one critical fact when I do this. And seeing this can change everything.
What We Miss In All Of Our Doing
There is no doubt that expertise counts. There is a path of mastery that leads to great things—for your business, for your customers, for your own satisfaction.
But, for the vast majority of people, in the vast majority of situations, the first thing that we notice about someone isn’t their expertise. It isn’t even more superficial things like their appearance.
It’s their being.
How they are being in any given moment.
For me, it is simply noticing how often I am showing up the way I think someone else wants me to show up, as opposed how I actually am.
If I am showing up with some kind of mask on, that comes across. In a field that is built on trust and connection, masks get in the way.
I could pretend that I have it together, but if I actually don’t, that will come across.
I could pretend that I am capable of something I am not, but if I do, that will affect my credibility.
You might think “that doesn’t apply to me and my skillset—people hire my expertise, not my personality.”
But how often have you not hired a doctor, or an accountant, or a contractor, because you didn’t trust them? Or because there was something that was just “off”?
That’s their being.
Being is everyone’s profession. And you can get hired because of it, or in spite of it.
Being Is Not About Being “Better”
There are people who will tell you that “Being” is about being BETTER.
“I am being positive!”
“I am being hard-working!”
To me it is about willing to be exactly who you are in any given moment.
You do have the capacity to cultivate and call forth different aspects of yourself. And that can be helpful, to see that there are different ways of being that are available to you.
But generally, to me, the more powerful part of the being journey is more about your awareness of who you are than it is about trying to be something that you are not.
It is being all of yourself, rather than covering up something you don’t like about yourself.
To the extent that I able to do that, it opens up something else entirely.
The Power of Full Connection
Have you ever had a relationship where you fully trust the other person? Where you understand that what you are getting is a flawed but lovable human being? One who you can rely on, and who can rely on you?
What would that be like in a work relationship?
In any relationship?
As an aside, I am astounded at how often the business owners that I work with say that the most difficult relationship they have is with their spouse.
That’s the one place where they know they can’t hide behind their expertise.
You’re Not Actually Hiding Anything
Have you ever known anyone who has an aspect of themselves that they try to keep hidden, but in the hiding, it becomes all the more obvious?
I worked with a business owner who had a temper, and always seemed on the verge of exploding. He would very rarely express his anger, but it seemed near the surface all the time.
He didn’t see that his attempts to “hide” his anger actually made it more apparent. And that his employees would never tell him the truth because they were afraid the consequences of doing so.
What do you try to hide?
Ask someone you trust about it.
Now ask who could you be if you owned and accepted that part of you?
All You Really Ever Need To Be Is You
The opportunity here is to see that the only person you ever need to be is you.
Am I saying that expertise does not matter? No.
That you don’t need to improve your skills? Absolutely not. In fact, I would argue that the skills you are drawn to master is an essential part of your being.
But in any moment, the skills you have is a given. Whether you are able to connect with the right people for you is up to your willingness to be you, in all the polish and, sometimes, all the mess.
Authenticity, vulnerability, is something that we admire in others because it we know how hard it is.
But are you willing to try?
What I am pointing to is simple, but not easy.
But what would it be like to just be you and trust that you are enough?
That wherever you are on your path of mastery, there are people who want to work with you? Who want to be with what you offer?
The beta of your new product.
The coaching group you are starting for the first time.
The relationship where it feels really edgy to be vulnerable?
You don’t have to do this all at once.
When I was starting my coaching business it became even more clear to me how much I wanted people to like me. There would be things that I would want to point out as a coach that I was afraid to say because they other person might not like them and therefore me.
There was a distinct feeling in my stomach when I knew I SHOULD say something out of service, but I didn’t WANT to say it out of FEAR.
So I experimented. I started saying that thing, and noticing the reaction.
It was overwhelmingly positive. It was the difficult things that were most helpful.
People starting hiring me because of my willingness to say hard things to them.
My fear had pointed me to something that became my strength.
What is that thing that is getting your way?
Create a small experiment, and let me know how it goes.
How to Keep Going Deeper
If you are a founder wanting to scale and sell your company, there are three shifts in identity that can help you do so with twice the impact and half the stress. Take a look at this video.
If building a sustainable coaching business that will replace your corporate income is calling you, here’s a video where I share the top three mistakes I see coaches make when trying to build a sustainable business—
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