Integration, Performance, and Authenticity

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

Recently a colleague said to me, “Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a look at integration.” And 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’s reactive, almost protective, kind of like putting on a mask.

So one place we can look when it comes to effectiveness – both for our businesses and our well being is integration. Being one, coherent self.

To be clear, it’s not that we should be exactly the same everywhere at all times. Naturally we want to show up at our best 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 it’s likely that somewhere toward the top of their lists will be “relationships.” That “put-on” performance can create a protective layer and actually keep us *out* of relationship with the people we intend to connect with.

Now there’s a difference between performance from that protective place – which again, is reactive – and performance on purpose. Making conscious choices in service of our highest and best selves can create very effective results. The key is that when you are just being you, it requires less energy. That’s a very different vibe than being, “on.”

Being 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 those of you who are thinking, “I am authentic. I’m real. I’m always me,” I believe you. Consider what might be available if you practice going just 5% more in that direction.

And perhaps it’s also about the “when” and “where” you can practice showing up that way. Often that mask shows up when our well being is off – maybe we’re tired, or we feel pressure to close that big client. Try practicing being on purpose by choosing what qualities you’ll bring with you into that meeting or presentation.

This chapter is filled with great people who show up every week to support and be supported. It’s a great space to practice. Bring authenticity to your one on ones. To your asks. To your commercials and five minute presentations.

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

I believe in this community, and in each of you.

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