Just Be You

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I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

posted this on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at about 3pm.
Just Be You- Cow

I often wonder if most people suffer a bit of an identity crisis. Sales, business, marketing, front office workers, moms, kids… all have a hard time truly identifying who they are.

Who are you? What do you do? What is important? How do you prove that you matter?

I tend to think that it’s because we are trying to be something that we are not. We want to be accepted into a certain group and, therefore, aren’t willing to admit when we are not truly fitting in.

The problem becomes so pervasive for people that they will even lie to prove they are right instead of admitting the truth is that they are really just hypocrites.

Instead of saying, “I was wrong,” people will find ways to justify their behavior. In fact, people will continue to lie and obfuscate to stay a part of the “IN” crowd as long as possible and hope that everyone else will forget about it.

The most common place we see this is in politicians, but that is usually only because they are the most visible and are required, more than others, to publicly face the consequences of the decisions they make.

We say we celebrate diversity. We say that we want fairness for all. But, the reality is, “We are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.” We want to belong so we hide who we really are.

You might say, “I don’t do that. That is rude of you to say!”

But we see examples of this in every day activity.

When you are caught in a lie, what is your first inclination? Do you admit that you made a mistake readily or do you try to hide what you did to some degree? If you admit that you made a mistake, you’ll often admit it in such a way that at least minimizes the impact of the consequences. More often than not, the lie wasn’t a lie at all, but you deluding yourself in your own reality and this identity crisis is you lying to yourself.

I think that this idea of identity crisis comes in more innocuous ways, too. You see it in social networks a lot. The most common way that this comes about is in profile names on Facebook and Twitter. Rather than someone being comfortable with their profile name being their first and last name, they want to add other identifiers to more effectively promote what they think is important.

A simple example of this would be if I choose to name myself in my social circles as ‘Corey Smith Web Consultant’ instead of just ‘Corey Smith’ or, even worse, ‘Corey Tribute Media.’

Posts will be written in these social circles to try to prove we care about the things our friends care about. You know, the environment, food, education, etc, what ever it is. We’ll often write comments of agreement when we want someone to like us instead of posting what we really think… we want to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

Even the most common exhibition of this identity crisis is the shear number of untalented individuals that try out for shows like America’s Got Talent or American Idol. Their friends were not willing to shoot them straight and simply say, “You know, you probably should consider NOT doing that.”

Knowing who you are is the first step. But, more importantly, it’s being satisfied with who you are. Being real and, if you aren’t thrilled to say what you really and truly are, then you should be willing to change yourself at the core.

I know that I offend people. I know that I rub some people (okay, maybe a lot of people) the wrong way. But, I’m not ashamed of who I am. I am better off saying something offensive that represents the real me than trying to be something I’m not.

I challenge you to do the same. In the end, the people who matter will love you for it and the people who don’t matter won’t matter.

In the end, just be you.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Consulting firm.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?