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10 Reasons Why You Should be the True You

10 Reasons Why You Should be the True You

Self-discovery isn’t for wimps. It takes a lot of courage, strength, and awareness to become the person you were meant to be.

You think you’re on the right path but somehow you feel lost. You think you’re doing your best. And you probably are, but deep inside you hear a little voice crying to get out. You try to silence it but you can still hear it.

Your loved ones want the best for you. Since you were a child your parents had their own dreams about what you will become, who you’ll choose to love, and how you will live your life.

That’s lovely when it works favorably, but sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and suddenly you feel lost and confused. You’ve lost your dreams, desires, and vision of the life you wanted. Caring about what other people want for you can cause you to live to fulfill their desires and forget about what your own.

Happiness cannot happen if you don’t live your truth. It may cause mistakes, failure, and regrets—but it will also bring lessons, wisdom, and personal harmony. If you don’t live your truth, you will become angry, resentful, and end up in a life that doesn’t suit you. But of course, it’s not easy to just be true to who you are.

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Of course, you don’t want to end up living on the streets, or sleeping on a park bench. Finding your inner truth is a process that takes time. And sometimes it takes a very long time. You have to work to pay the bills, but while you are being responsible, try to be true to that voice inside you.

Not everyone wants a marriage. Some people love the joys of single life—sharing their bed with empty sushi containers, three dogs and an iPhone—while others can’t imagine eating dinner alone—a night without an argument over the air conditioning (too hot or too cold) and a bathroom floor without someone else’s wet towels on it. Some women came out of their mother’s womb with a natural ability to change diapers, never sleep, and the strength to tolerate a toddler’s temper tantrum. And then there are women who are truly content knowing that a miniature version of themselves will not be brought forth into future generations. Whichever one you are is OK—because that’s who you are; it’s what you want, and who you were meant to be.

When you discover the true you, AHA! happens; you know what you want and are free to go after it with every ounce of your being. When you do, you live contently—comfortable in your own skin—able to achieve whatever impossible dreams you had imagined for yourself.

Listening to your inner voice is a skill. It’s a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about tuning in to your deeper self and tuning out the noise that is disrupting your own voice. It’s a daily practice of trial and error. Sometimes you have to change the direction you were headed in, make a u-turn, and go back again before you can move forward. It’s about falling down, getting hurt, brushing yourself off, and getting up again and again.

If you want to excel you need to know who you are—then you can move forward. You can fortify your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses, then face your flaws and strive to overcome them. Every day is a chance to become a better version of your self, not a better version of somebody else. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

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Here are nine reasons why being the true YOU is the best way to be.

1. You can celebrate your nature!

Even if it’s different than what everybody expects of you, notice what makes you happy. It’s easy to go along with the crowd. Quickly you can slip into becoming what someone else wants you to be. Pay attention to what makes you smile. Do more of it. As we age, we lose our inner child filled with talents, wonder, and amazement. What was your favorite activity when you were a child? Writers wrote, artists painted, and engineers built block towers or took apart their mother’s toaster.

2. You won’t lose sight of your own dreams.

The longer you ignore your dreams, the more they fade away. So don’t ignore them for too long, unless you’ve replaced them with other dreams that you’re content with.

3. You will experience the joy of inner peace.

Peace comes from harmony, when your body and soul align. Peace is a calm feeling that too many people don’t get to experience. Inner peace warms your soul.

4. You will feel good in your own skin.

You can’t be in somebody’s else’s skin. Yours is custom-fit just for you. You’re a unique package. Your personality, style, and way of thinking, acting, and speaking is unlike anyone else’s. Besides, it’s exhausting trying to be someone you are not.

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5. You won’t feel like a phony.

Trying to behave in a way that doesn’t match your inner truth feels as if you’re trying to make tight shoes feel comfortable. You may love the way they look, but no matter how hard you try they still hurt with every step you take.

6. You will get that warm cozy feeling when you put your head on your pillow at night—and a good night’s sleep.

There’s nothing as spiritually satisfying as crawling into bed, putting your head on your pillow, pulling fluffy covers up to your chin, and feeling your soul smile.

7. You can become your best self.

It gets confusing when you try to be someone you’re not. It’s like spending your entire day in a clown costume. It’s fun for a little while but after a few hours you start to squirm. The exterior doesn’t match the interior. And remember, Confucius says, “No matter where you go, there you are.”

8. You will learn to spend time alone.

Peer pressure affects adults, too. We succumb to group mentality. If you really want to be your truest, best self, spend time alone. Take walks by the beach, or in nature. Set aside quiet time so that all you hear is the sound of your heart beating. Do what you enjoy.

“The two best days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

—Mark Twain

9. You will be more willing to reach outside your comfort zone.

Sometimes we get stuck in comfort zones that aren’t very comfortable. We’ve simply adjusted to the discomfort because of fear. It’s scary to discover “the true you.” You worry if people will still like you or wonder what your life will be like if you make a change. Discomfort isn’t a bad thing when it’s helping you grow in a positive direction. Once in awhile, it’s good to measure your comfort zone: it is harmful or beneficial to you?

10. You can still be realistic.

Of course, you have to pay the bills so don’t quit your job right now. Take time to nurture your inner truth so that you can responsibly transition into your dream job. But that doesn’t mean just because it isn’t happening now that it will never happen.

Self-discovery is an endless journey.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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