Integration and Authenticity

As a coach who also trains other coaches, I spend a lot of time around people engaged in transformational work. People who are thinking, learning, and taking action in the name of personal growth. And one of the perks is that I’m constantly gifted with nuggets of wisdom.

Recently I was discussing the idea of being overwhelmed with a colleague. (Anybody know something about being overwhelmed?) And she said to me, “Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a look at integration.” What she was referring to is the idea that we can often be different ways in different arenas. Even almost different people around different people. There’s the way we show up with our clients, with our friends, with our family, and even within our families – we’re different with our kids than with our parents, and our partners.

Maybe we’re even a particular way here, in this room.

The more things we have going – the more tasks, roles, personas, and moving parts, the more there is to manage. And that can get exhausting.

It can lead many of us to take on a particular kind of performance, one that can be somewhat protective in nature. It’s like putting on a mask.

So one place we can look when it comes to effectiveness – both for our well being and our businesses is integration. Being one, coherent self. Consolidating all of that energy and focusing it on the task at hand.

To be clear, it’s not that we should be exactly the same everywhere at all times. Naturally we want to show up professionally with our clients and business contacts, and we may let our hair down in the comfort of our own homes. But there’s an opportunity to simplify and to bring a greater level of authenticity.

Ask any successful business person about the keys to their success, and they’re going to include relationships on their list. Consider how that “put-on” performance can create a barrier and actually keep us *out* of relationship with the people we intend to connect with.

Because our way of being is largely automatic, shifting towards being more authentic and integrated may seem uncomfortable – like a new muscle to exercise. But ultimately it will get you hired and grow your business.

And for anyone thinking, “I am authentic. I’m real. I’m always me,” I believe you. Just think about what might be available if you practice going even 5% more in that direction.

This chapter is filled with great people who show up every week to support and be supported. It’s a perfect space to practice. Bring that level of relationship to your one on ones.

It also helps to support making direct asks. When we’re connected to each other, and can really hear each other, we can ask for almost anything without fear. The request may not always be granted, but the space is clear for the ask.

Let’s keep going – as we work together toward the common goal of personal and professional success.

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