“The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.”
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh

We have a simple philosophy, the best person you can be, is yourself.  But we know that most of us are not being our real selves and often the us that others see is our triggers, reactions and personas that result from insecurity or learnt conformist patterns over time, particularly at work.

We talked last week about developing a strong relationship with yourself to ensure healthy mental health, tapping into our real selves develops this strong relationship.

In our research 88% agreed that “I have times when I doubt myself”.  79% agreed that they’d use words like doubter, worrier, over thinking and lacking confidence when describing themselves. I would challenge that this figure is actually significantly higher in reality.
All too often at work this can be accentuated as we worry about what people think of us, are busy trying to fit in and do and say the ‘right’ thing. We become masked trying to be the person we think we should be, to be ‘good enough’. This can lead to a lack of authenticity, creativity and innovation and creates conformity.  Leaders and managers can then tend to have a transactional perspective – seeing the tasks rather than the person involved.

To be the best you, you need to understand who you are.  Your iAM values.  If you have an iAM Values Ripple here’s a quick reminder.

If you don’t, scroll further down for some tips for everyone.

Heart & Core (Levels 1&2): These are your energisers, your drivers.  Directly linked to your purpose they are also where you come from when under pressure.  These iAM Values correlate directly with your negative 360 feedback…we can all overdo them.
Central Wave (Level 3): These parts of you tend to be what you are known for.  Use these parts of you to lead and influence.  Amplify them to really make a difference.
First Wave (Level 4): Begin everything through the words and energy of your first wave. Conversations, emails, calls, meetings, your day.  These iAM Values unlock your natural self and bring a sense of rightness and confidence.  They also directly correlate with what irritates you, so remember them to help yourself manage your emotional response.

If you don’t have an iAM Values Ripple, get one!  And read on …

  1. Sit for a minute in yourself, shine the torch around, discard the self-doubt and imagine that you are nailing your world exactly as you like it.  That is you.  You may be creative, structured, naughty, positive, competitive, all of these.  Whatever you are, this is your iAM.  And iAM is always positive.
  2. Let’s dust off that self-doubt.  Over 92% of iAM questionnaires have things like, ‘I worry what people think of me’, ‘I am an overthinker’, ‘I hide my insecurities at work’.  The minute you doubt yourself you will be more susceptible to hiding, restricting or gushing in your expression, conforming, becoming the person that you feel would look impressive. That work persona comes out.  You have to believe in yourself to really be a success at work.  Have faith in you, do your best and be yourself.
  3. Build a strong relationship with yourself.  Only you can strengthen your resolve sustainably.  Build in habits of self-talk, self-thought, meetings with self, turn off the TV, the radio and spend positive productive time getting to know and experiencing you.

Building our mind-set from within means it’s in our control, it increases resilience, confidence and self-belief and is a strategy that can last and benefit our well-being.  #Beyourselfatwork helps you to use head and heart and makes an enormous difference.  In a recent case study, when we helped leaders use their iAM – who they are and build an open positive conversation with themselves as much as possible, their resilience grew by 42%. So, you can do it!