On wearing your innermost qualities on your sleeves
Have you ever wondered in your interactions with certain people as to who they really were beneath their identity? Identity of say a Business Consultant or a Doctor, or a Coach, or a Teacher or whatever else? Wondered if there was more to their personalities than the one dimensional view they showed you? And how did interacting with such individuals leave you feeling? Most likely empty, unsure of who this person really was & the overall experience nothing to talk about, right?
And now compare this with certain other individuals who brought more colour and individuality to their interaction with you. Recall how that left you feeling? Most likely you felt a greater degree of connection & the experience felt more fulfilling. Looking back on my own life, I still recall the dentist who extracted my wisdom tooth and spoke to me about playing rock music. This was about 12 years or so ago but the pleasant memory of the conversation still remains with me.
Now look at some of your own interactions in everyday life where you don different hats - of a mother, father, spouse, teacher, employer, colleague, friend etc. Do you allow the role you play to overshadow your personality? So much so that it feels like you are putting on a mask that doesn't feel too comfortable? Like you are just waiting to get out of it and be yourself?
In a day, you will find yourself playing many different roles. But when you get into playing the particular role based on assumptions and don't bring some of your own unique qualities into the role play, then you may find the act tedious and draining.
People interacting with you will also feel the superficiality of the interaction, and not getting to know you at a deeper level or more fully will leave them feeling distanced & unfulfilled.
When I reflect on some of my best friends and best clients, I realise that these are the people who have seen my most authentic self.
And when I reflect on times where I have put on a facade just for approval or kept parts of me hidden, I have attracted people & situations that have only brought me unease in the long run.
So clearly the conclusion I can make is that, it serves to express more of one's true nature. As that brings the right kind of people, both personally & professionally to us. Making our life more fulfilling in the long run.
Story telling & an experiment:
Recently I heard my friend, Violet Monis talk about storytelling on Instagram. She expressed how each of us is a storyteller and how our style of narration connects us deeper to our audience. You can listen to her here:
She and I did our Yoga TTC together, and she has been a huge inspiration for me.
Her talk got me thinking about how I was doing my own narration. Not just in the way I write but also in my day to day interactions and role plays - as a coach, parent, friend, etc. How much of me was I really bringing into my interactions.
To dig deeper, I sent out a request to some of my close friends, family, acquaintances, & clients to tell me what they saw as my top 3 personality traits.
This exercise revealed how I was expressing myself/story telling to these different people.
Realisations from the exercise:
✨ I realised I was showing only part of who I was to different audiences. For example, my clients saw me mostly as disciplined, consistent, committed, & to some extent creative. While my friends saw more of my fun side.
Which is fine, because it is all me.
But a deeper reflection makes me feel that it is not necessary that I display only the "all serious" parts of my personality to my clients leaving out the fun & the humour side, and show only the “easy going fun" parts of me to my friends leaving out the more grounded side.
✨ I realised that maybe if I brought a little more of my personality that I consciously or unconsciously hid, into the forefront, our shared experience of interaction could be made much more enriching.
What does all of this mean for you?
If you would like to add more depth to your relationships & make your story telling more appealing to your people, then begin by :
A. Identifying your core qualities:
Your core qualities are who you are deep down. Ask yourself which of your core qualities make you feel great when expressed - make you feel free, comfortable, and at home.
For me these are - creativity, caring, open heartedness, imagination, fun/humour, spirituality, discipline, grounding, and simplicity.
Dig into yours. Once done, think about how you can bring these qualities into your daily role plays, interactions, work & other forms of self expression. Be it that of a coach or a parent or anything else.
B. Do the exercise I did:
You can choose to check in with your close friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues on what's the most dominant personality you bring to the interaction with them. This will reveal how much of you is actually at play. You can use this information to enrich your interactions with them by sharing more of your inner qualities that you haven't probably shown them. Just do it as an experiment and see what that does to your relationship.
As you bring out & wear a little bit more of your unique personality in every interaction, who knows, that day is not far when you will be fully self expressed, free and comfortable in your own skin.
No longer needing to masquerade.