Keeping Your "Self" in Your Industry
I think the phrase “be yourself” and “stay true to yourself’ gets thrown around loosely these days. We want to stay true to ourselves, but do we really know what that even means? A majority of the time we aren’t even sure who our “self” is, but we watch shows and read books that encourage us to be those selves. I believe that we are an ever-changing species, ones who adapt to our surroundings, are influenced by knowledge, and recreate from experiences. Your self, and not getting into the psychological or sociological meaning, is the large parts inside your heart that you identify as: your morals, your passions, your disposition, etc.. I’m no expert, this is purely my opinion and my story, but I think that deep down, no matter how much you’ve changed over the years, there is a self inside us all that stays the same. Some of us harden, some soften, some of us grow bolder, some do not, some of us gain courage, and others more reclusive, but the deep core of who we all are is still within us.
Many of us enter into careers we never saw for ourselves, aren’t passionate about, or don’t agree with some of the pieces that come along with it. Your industry doesn’t have to suppress your sense of self, you simply have to find out ways to satisfy it and still do your job. I am 100% passionate about what I do and the industry I am in, but I don’t relate with 75% of what the health, wellness, and fitness industry encompasses. When we decided to open the gym and truly throw ourselves into this world, we made the commitment to each other that we would not hide or hold down our selves. Below are a few steps we took to stay true to our core self:
- Write Down the Qualities/Parts You Believe are Your Self: Grab a piece of paper, or your phone, and create a list of what you believe makes up your inner most self. For me it is being a Christian woman, being respectable, being humble, and being encouraging. Now you may read that list and see words that trigger emotions in you, but I wrote that list with my self at the forefront of my mind and not thinking about what others’ do or will say. You need to be honest when you write these qualities down and truly think about what makes you, you. If you have a hard time coming up with these, think about the times that have made you the most happy and the feelings you had and the behaviors you were showing. It is during those moments that you’ll begin to recognize the qualities that are significant to who you are.
- Write Down Small Actions that Showcase Each of Your Self Qualities: Now that you have a list of what you consider describes your self, write down small everyday actions that you feel showcases that quality. For example, when I think about me being a Christian woman, I make sure that every so often one of our social media posts thanks God for the blessings He’s given us. A small act, but it satisfies that part of my self and I don’t feel as if I have to hide it for fear that someone will disagree or disapprove. For my being respectable quality, I have my own idea of what that encompasses. I want to respect myself, my husband, our clients, our gym, etc.. The actions I take to appease that piece of self is making sure the pictures we use for social media, promotions, or in our blog are considerate to others, to the people in them, and to the messages we are trying to get across. I make sure that our clients are spotted and treated appropriately by our staff and by other members. These actions are meant to be smaller in scale so you can work them into your everyday life, your everyday career.
- Intentionally Input These Actions at Work: It is officially time to implement those actions you wrote down. In some instances, it may be scary; there’s fear of what other people will say, how they’ll react, or if you’ll be ridiculed. But, being true to your self is too important to let fear overcome your actions. Trust me, I understand the anxiety that comes with the fear that displaying pieces of your self will be taken the wrong way or roasted by others. My outspokenness about my faith or the want to be a respectable woman and wife, are large pieces of me, but easy targets by those wishing to attack. I had to make the decision that being true to who I am was far more important than trying to please EVERY SINGLE PERSON around me. Just be intentional with what you chose to do that day, no matter if it’s sharing a bible verse, making your entire team cookies because you love to bake, or saying your favorite phrase to someone. Over time the actions become natural, your inner self becomes far more satisfied, and you’ll definitely find yourself more happy about how you’re doing what you do.