How are you showing up in your life? Do you show up differently depending on who you are with or what circumstances you encounter? Standing your ground and being authentic to your true nature, even under duress is a challenge and a gift.
My dear friend and colleague, motivational humorist Karyn Ruth White was recently scheduled for some dental work and like the rest of us, a bit nervous about it. True to form, she walked into the dental office wearing a gold crown on her head. With a straight face and serious tone, said to the receptionist, “I’m Karyn Ruth White and I’m here to get my crown removed”. The receptionist looked at her and the tiara on top of her head, and cracked up. In fact, the whole office did: the patients in the waiting room, the dental assistants, the dentist, and most importantly, Karyn Ruth. Her signature keynote is Laughing in the Face of Stress and that is exactly what she did here, relieving tension for everyone.
As a professional speaker for the last 15 years, being my most authentic self on the platform is an onging challenge. I remember I initially resisted even mentioning my work as an emergency room nurse for 23 years. I remember Joel Roberts, media expert and talk show host, telling us at a seminar, “You owe it to your audiences, your readers, and the world to show up and share yourself, your foibles and triumphs because nobody else can do that”. Today, my journey from the chaos of the emergency room to the calm of my yoga mat is the premise for all of my speaking and writing.
Sometimes we think it might be easier or more impressive to show up as somebody else. To copy or emulate doesn’t feel quite as vulnerable, quite as risky, quite as interesting. We think we need to be somebody else to be liked, accepted, or respected. The people I find most interesting are those who are not afraid to express themselves fully. I don’t have to always agree with them, but I admire them for taking a stand, and committing to showing up authentically.
Even if you aren’t a professional speaker, you still get ample opportunity to show up authentically everyday and social media, like Facebook, Linked in or Twitter make it a click away. We get to express ourselves the way it is most important to us in a very informal, but still meaningful way and connect with others who are doing the same thing. So for today, experiment and show up fully as yourself, on the phone, on the internet, and even at the dentist office. You may even find that you have a little more fun along the way!