BY BOB SHENEFELT
When introducing yourself to someone new, you will likely shake hands, give a smile and state your name. This is, of course, tradition. Have you ever considered what you’ve said about yourself at this moment? Did you make an effort to pass along as much information about yourself as possible? It’s likely you didn’t. It’s likely that, at this moment, your goal was a simple introduction to establish the most basic aspect of who you are, and that’s ok.
Over time, the information about yourself you want to convey appears through actions, words and behavior. The funny thing is that the person we convey to those around us often depends upon what we choose to show based upon what we think the others should see, need to see or want to see. The question is whether or not this is really you?
The person you convey in business situations is likely not the same person you convey in social situations or in family situations. As humans, we pull out the features or elements of ourselves that apply to the situation at hand. In the end, we have a variety of personalities in our back pocket and all are ready to show up at a moment’s notice.
Though the existence of various “situational selves” is very common and, in some cases could be considered necessary, it is the core elements of who we are that can get lost. That is to say, who we really are as it relates to values, goals and dreams may become unclear and lost in the shuffle. No matter whom you’re talking to or interacting with, are you ALWAYS true to your core ‘self’? Do you know what matters most to you, what your most coveted beliefs are and what you hold dear no matter what the situation is?
Being true to yourself is holding these things close to you no matter what. It is about saying to those around you “I respect myself too much to compromise what matters most to me”. The bottom line becomes, no matter which ‘situational self’ applies, those around me will always say I was honest and true.