Diva Secret #3Be Yourself

I recently wrote a Special Report that I’d like to share with you. It’s called "The Diva’s 7 Secrets to Speaking or Performing With Confidence, Ease and Charisma." I’ll be posting these Secrets one by one over the next few weeks. Enjoy!


Secret #3:
Be Yourself

Tell me the truth. Can you just be yourself when you’re speaking or performing?

Can you just show up and be who you are without feeling that you should be someone who is more articulate, more talented, more experienced, more dynamic, more interesting, more funny, more SOMETHING?

The reason I’m asking is that most people feel that if they are going to stand up and speak in front of an audience, they need to be MORE than who they are. They need to be like that electrifying, laugh-a-minute speaker they saw last week. Or they need to be an extraordinary, super-duper, high-gloss version of themselves.

Well, that’s nuts.

You get to just be who you are. As you are. Not some better-than-ever version of who you are, but who you are right now. In this moment.

You get to talk the way you talk everyday to your friends and colleagues. Really. Just talk to your audience as if you were talking to a friend over a cup of coffee. Be present and available and just talk like you talk. Not only will you feel natural and at ease but your audience will, too. They will find it easy to connect and engage with you because you are just being you. In fact, all your audience really wants is to be with someone who is real, authentic, and genuine.

Sometimes, when I tell people they can just be who they are, I get this objection. “But I can’t be myself! No one would want to listen to me. Who I am is a very shy, quiet person!” Listen, what choice do you have? You are who you are. So, if you’re shy, then be shy and speak from that shyness. It’s okay. You don’t have to be explosive, aggressive and loud. You don’t have to be any certain way. Just be real. Be who you are.

Secondly, if you try to pretend to be someone you’re not, it’s not going to work. You will be so busy trying to pull of a charade that you are going to feel even more panicked and nervous. Besides, people can smell a fraud and a fake from a mile away. And as soon as they get a whiff, they retract, get suspicious and choose not to pay attention.

It is your willingness to just be who you are that makes you worth listening to. The moment you try to “fake it” you lose credibility.

Being who you are, even if who you are is quiet and shy, makes you trustworthy. It also allows you to make a real connection with your audience. If you are trying to be someone else, you won’t be able to connect with anyone because YOU won’t be there! All your attention and energy will be trapped and twisted around creating some false persona, and no one can connect with that.

The challenge of Secret #3 is that it asks for your complete self-acceptance and self-respect. Any hesitation you might feel about showing up and just being who you are in a relaxed and natural way comes from some belief that who you are isn’t enough. That belief needs to be interrogated and exposed for what it is. A whole lot of hooey. A way to keep you quiet, repressed and apart from what you really want.

I have come to believe that any kind of crippling anxiety or fear around self-expression is rooted in a lack of self-respect. We don’t respect ourselves enough to fully appreciate who we are right now. We don’t respect ourselves enough to make sure our expressive experiences are joyful and fun for us. We care more about the judgment of others than we do about ourselves, and that needs to stop right now if we are to ever feel free, confident and joyful in our self-expression.

Which brings me to one of the most important reasons to just be yourself when you are speaking or performing. You will have so much more fun when you do. If you can enjoy and respect who you are right now and be willing to share who you are openly and honestly, you can have a blast any time you are expressing yourself in any way.

Of course we all want to grow and improve and be more of who we can be. That desire is what keeps us enthused and engaged in life. I, too, want to be a better singer than I am today. And I love working towards becoming so. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get to fully enjoy and share who I am today as a singer and performer. Sure, I may be 10 times better next year, but I still get to express and appreciate the singer I am today.

Can you fully accept and appreciate who you are right now? I know you can, but will you? Will you decide to love and express who you are today, knowing that you are always in a state of growth and becoming?

Will you allow yourself to enjoy sharing what you have to share today, knowing that you will have even more to share tomorrow? Will you honor and respect yourself enough to make sure you don’t let anything or anyone take away your joy and freedom to express yourself as you are right now?

Make the choice to give this to yourself right now. Then, you can have a blast speaking or performing or dancing on your head in public, now and tomorrow and forever.

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