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When You Start Being Yourself, These 10 Amazing Things Will Happen

When You Start Being Yourself, These 10 Amazing Things Will Happen

When you were a little kid, you had a personality, flaws, endearing qualities and behaviors that defined you as a mini human being. As you grew up, the influences of society, people around you, life experiences and genetic pre-disposition further molded you into who you are today – but with one big caveat.

As an adult, you have developed the mental skills to flex your behaviors and personality to fit what you think others expect and where you want your life to go in the future. While this is a powerful benefit of being a grown-up, it can lead to issues in relationships, personal growth and success. When you fake who you are or cover up your true personality, not only does it lead to short-term challenges, but it can seriously hurt your long-term life goals.

When you own your personal brand, start being yourself and step into your true nature by showing people your strengths, flaws, weirdness and real personality, it can open you up to a whole new world of amazingness!

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1. You will attract the right tribe.

When you are fake, you aren’t surrounded by the right people who will support you in your real growth and goals. Sure it may seem smart to pretend you’re a certain way if you want to live a certain way, but if it doesn’t fit with your actual personality, it will only make you appear inauthentic – meaning the people in that group will be unlikely to embrace you anyway. When you behave in ways that are in alignment with your strengths, flaws and deep-down soul goals, the right people will be attracted to you to help you on your journey.

2. You will make more money.

People buy from people. They like to hang out with and spend money when their innermost emotional needs are being met. When you can connect with people on a deeper level as your true self, you can create better relationships with co-workers, bosses, customers and clients. Whether you’re in customer service, sales, healthcare or education, it doesn’t matter. Every job requires human connection for growth. When you truly connect as the true human being that YOU are, the opportunities for personal and financial growth will follow.

3. You will meet the right partner.

Only when you show your true colors will the right love interest come along. Sure you can attract a mate by faking who you are are, but the long-term implications are that you will feel resentful, guilty or regretful when your true self isn’t having your needs met. Be real and the right person will come along to make you happy, and you will feel connected to them on a deeper level – flaws and all!

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4. You will be trusted.

When you are really being you, it leads to a consistent experience for people who interact with you. When they feel secure in knowing you are who you say and act like you are, they are more likely to trust you with big and small tasks, decisions and responsibilities. When you are a trusted person, your career success will increase, your personal relationships will flourish and you will feel more confident in your ability to interact with others.

5. You will be more confident.

Being fake can hit your self-confidence in a big way. Why? Because when you are fake it means you are constantly worrying about impressing people by changing who you are in certain scenarios. When you have to change so quickly and so often, it clouds decision-making which leads to bad decisions. When you are constantly making bad decisions it makes you feel bad about yourself leading to low self-esteem and suffering self-confidence.

6. You will be more energized.

It feels good to live authentically. It attracts the right people, opportunities and even money. When you are living in your true flow, you feel happier which boosts endorphins. These endorphins are feel-good chemicals that naturally increase energy, mood and positivity. It is a circular cycle that when you feel good, you look good, you do good, you attract good. All that goodness creates major energy in your life.

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7. You will sleep better.

Embracing the true you leads to positive emotions. The better you feel, the less worry you have. The less worry you have, the less time you lay in bed fretting over your decisions, future and actions. This means you have more time to actually sleep, rest and heal and less time tossing and turning with worry over what people think of you or how you can impress others.

8. You will feel less stressed.

It’s so much easier to be yourself than to fake it all the time. When you fake who you are you are constantly having to cover up lies, stress over your appearance and fret over your words. When you are just simply YOU, there is no need to worry over what you said or did in the past, how certain people perceive you or how you need to act in different environments. You have peace in your heart because you can just be you.

9. You will be seen as real.

When you act like your true self, you will be creating a consistent experience for people whether they hang out with you in person, read your social posts online or hear stories about you. This consistency massively boosts your credibility, likability and trustworthiness both personally and professionally.

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10. You will be happier.

All the stuff above will lead to increased happiness and peace in your personal and professional lives. Your happiness is based on your own ability to step into your greatness with a peaceful heart. When you embrace your true nature, this peace comes easier and greater joy and happiness will follow.

So you see, living a life that showcases your best and most challenging traits is the best way to move ahead. No matter who or what you’ve tried to be in the past, it’s time to let those false impressions go and step into the amazing life that only YOU can create.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: How do you stay true to yourself when you set goals? What can you do TODAY to get back to being who you really are?

Featured photo credit: Hipster woman taking photos with retro film camera on vintage ornamental wallpaper. via shutterstock.com

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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