A Short Guide to Being Yourself Online
“Be yourself” is the most useless piece of advice ever.
Together with “Don’t worry” and “Don’t be shy.” Like there’s a switch button for that. Shyness off. Being myself mode activated.
Be yourself, and everything is going to be fine.
It’s not a bad piece of advice. But it doesn’t help:
When your Mr. Darcy asks you out for the first time and you google “how to make someone fall in love with you,” you get 13,900,000 results (just checked it) and the #1 tip is to be yourself.
The night before your first big speech or your first
And when you can’t force yourself to market your business online, you ask marketing gurus, and they tell you to JUST be yourself. Duh!
Dear gurus, I am myself—and that’s my problem! I don’t want to be myself. I want to be someone cool,
Someone who isn’t full of fear.
So that’s why I don’t want to be another person telling you to be yourself without telling you how to do it. Today, I want to give you three quick, practical tips that will help you trick your brain into being more confident and get unblocked so you can be yourself even if you’re scared as hell.
Afraid to be yourself online? This might help.Click To Tweet
#1: What would Beyonce do?
Beyonce isn’t the only one who uses this trick, but she’s one of the most famous examples: To overcome shyness and give herself courage, she created an alter ego named Sasha Fierce. (She later killed Sasha and created a new persona, Yonce. But anyway.)
On the stage, she wasn’t herself. She was this wild and sexy woman, Sasha Fierce. She basically tricked her brain into being more confident.
Sounds doable, right?
But can you become yourself by being someone else? I believe that you can. It is you—minus your fears, perceived limitations, and concerns about what others may think.
I mean, think about it. There is a “Sasha Fierce” living inside of you, just beneath the fear. She is your unfulfilled potential.
My question for you: Who is your inner “Sasha”? Could you give her (him?) a name? What would she do if she could? What would she create?
Next time you can’t force yourself to hit the publish button, send the email, ask a question in an online forum, or whatever—free
Let Sasha do it and see what happens.
#2: You are not just one person
Now, I want you to think about three people you know. All of them should be close to you, but each of them should be associated with a different area of your life (for example your spouse, best friend, and sister).
Got it? Great.
Now, think about who you are when you’re with each one of them and when it’s just the two of you. How do you speak? What do you talk about? How do you behave?
The chances are that each time, you’re a different person. Not completely different, but different. Right?
And yet, each time, it’s 100% you.
Similarly, when putting yourself out there online, you can be 100% you without getting 100% naked. You can show some parts of yourself and hide other parts. It’s not cheating. It’s still you.
You are the one who sets the boundaries for your online personality. Of course, in real life, you don’t have to think about it. It just happens. But when building a personal brand, you have to be intentional.
When I realized this, it felt so liberating. I felt so much more in control. That’s why in my Brand Manifesto Workbook, I included an exercise to help my clients draw the line between themselves and their online personalities—and it turned out to be one of the most helpful exercises.
My question for you: Who would you be if you were hanging out with your Dream Client in real life? How would you speak? What would you talk about if it was just the two of you?
Decide how you want to be perceived online. What is the person like? Write it down. Describe her. How does your Dream Client feel when they meet her? What does your Dream Client like about her?
(Once you decide, stay true to your online personality so that you don’t turn your brand into a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.)
#3: You are the stories you tell
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not endorsing creating a fake personality for your online business, pretending that you’re someone you’re not, or hiding behind someone/something else. That would make your brand less trustworthy and less human (not to mention the legal side of your business).
I’m just trying to say that the stories you tell yourself and others have enormous power. You can tell better stories that are true and that will help you be yourself:
☆ You can stop telling yourself that you’re too shy, too emotional, or too introverted to run an online business. You can use whatever you consider your weakness and turn it into a superpower.
☆ If you’re paralyzed by fear, you can do what Beyonce does. For a while, pretend that you’re someone who isn’t full of fear. Do the thing you don’t want to do. Then, when you become yourself again, you’ll see that it was YOU who did it. And you’ll see how courageous you really are.
☆ You can choose who you want to be online. You are not your brand; you are so much more than that. Keep some parts of yourself to yourself.
You are not your brand; you are so much more than that.Click To Tweet
Final action step:
Find your personal motivational story and use it as a reminder of who you are.
Think about the time you helped a client in a big way. Every time you feel like this is not you or like you
And she needs you to show up as yourself.
Okay, here’s what to do now:
★ If you need help creating guidelines for your online personality, get my Brand Manifesto Workbook.
★ In the comments, please tell me: Are you afraid of being yourself online? When was the last time you overcame your fear? How did you do it?
✯ If you found the tips helpful, would you mind sharing the article on your favorite social media? It helps me a lot. Thank you!