How to be authentically yourself in business

Do you show up differently in your daily life versus your business?

Come on. Be honest.

Are you the same person who goes out on a Saturday night, or do you tone it down a bit?

Of course, it’s essential to wear slightly different hats at different moments.

However, are you losing fundamental aspects of yourself in the process?

And yeah. I get it.

You may be wondering how much to share, how to behave, and how vulnerable to be.

After all, people may judge you, and you may lose clients or job opportunities.

But have you become a mere “representative” of yourself disconnected from the “real you”?

And if so, how do you show up confidently as your authentic self instead?

Why is this important anyway?

Let’s talk about why it’s essential to be authentic in the first place.

Have you ever spoken to someone who was not entirely being themselves? What did that feel like for you? Just like you can tell when someone else is inauthentic, they can also tell when you are.

Being yourself and feeling aligned with your life and business will enable you to create meaningful connections and a lifestyle you love.

You will show up with enthusiasm, have less pressure, make decisions more quickly, and live a happier and healthier life.

And remember, no one on this earth is like you. Genuinely sharing your unique talents and gifts enables stronger connections, more clients, and better opportunities.

So be as much of yourself as possible because you are your superpower.

So how do you start?

Step 1: What roles do you play?

With different relationships comes different roles that you play. What type of roles do you currently have in your life and business?

Are you a parent? A daughter? A sibling?

A business owner? An employee?

A provider? A philanthropist? A citizen?

A party planner? The life of the party?

Start by outlining your various roles based on the types of relationships you have.

Step 2: How do you show up in each of these roles?

You are a complex individual with many different personality traits. Some of your characteristics are more present at certain times than others, and it can feel challenging to balance the many aspects of yourself.

You may notice that you behave differently in specific circumstances because it is common to share some characteristics in certain situations but not others.

One day you may be a responsible, introverted bookworm, while on other days, you could be the extroverted life of the party. Sometimes you may crack jokes, while on others, you may be more reserved.

Or maybe you are a people-pleaser at work while edgy, carefree, and artistic at home. There may even be a spicy side that makes an appearance.

Which personality traits show up most frequently, and when do they appear? What parts of yourself are left behind? Do you exclude details of who you are in certain instances?

Most importantly, do you feel like you are entirely yourself in your business, or are you pushing down aspects you think may be judged?

For example, are you willing to take certain risks in your life but not your business or visa versa?

Reflect on each of your roles and how you are showing up. Are you authentically yourself?

So, how do you know who is the “real you?”

To help the process, here are 15 signs that you may not be authentic:

  1. Your life doesn’t feel quite right.
  2. You feel like people don’t know the “real you.”
  3. You feel like you must be “perfect.”
  4. You hold back and don’t speak up when you want to.
  5. You feel uncomfortable or awkward often.
  6. You constantly cringe at your behavior.
  7. You may not want to show up or even avoid specific interactions. 
  8. You are always looking for an escape.
  9. You have tightness, pain, or illness in your body.
  10. You are constantly walking on eggshells and think twice before speaking.
  11. You are afraid to take risks to step outside your comfort zone for fear of being judged.
  12. You feel resentful most of the time.
  13. You feel misunderstood.
  14. You people-please, instead of tapping into what is true to you.
  15. You avoid conflict.

Evaluate these signals to help you discern how you behave in each role.

Step 3: Why do you show up this way?

It’s time to understand why you are behaving the way you do. What makes you act out of alignment in different circumstances?

Your roles most likely have perceived expectations. How does this impact your behavior? And most importantly, are these expectations even accurate?

What generally gets in the way of you being authentic? Are you consciously choosing to be different?

Maybe you are afraid of being judged, or some restrictions or boundaries don’t allow you to express yourself fully, like strict policies or dress codes.

Does your business not align with your values?

Or are you afraid of being judged by others or that you will lose money or clients?

What is preventing you from being yourself in certain situations?

Step 4: Who do you want to be instead?

You may realize that you are not showing up in a way that suits you. So, how do you want to show up instead? What would being authentic look like for you?

Note that it may not be a simple shift. Perhaps you even have two parts of yourself that clash because they stand for different things. For example, you can have a “good girl” versus an “edgy girl” inside.

So, what do you do to accept your incompatibilities?

First, reflect on all your conflicts, and give each personality trait a voice.

What would each attribute say to the other if given a microphone? What purpose does each have in protecting you, and what does each need to feel safe to show up differently? And how can they help each other?

Or do circumstances need to change to allow you to be more yourself? Perhaps you feel that one part of you is inappropriate in certain situations. What can you do to make that part feel seen and safe?

And what attributes do you want or need to shut off? How can you express less of them to feel more aligned? And why do you think this way? Is that true that you need to, or is it only your perception?

Sometimes it is also necessary to express certain traits that do not come naturally. What parts do you want to turn on that are not currently able to shine?

Are you an introvert having to turn on extroversion to make sales calls?

What can you tell that introverted part of you to feel good about making this shift?

Perhaps it’s a tiny tweak like turning the word “conversion” into “connection and conversation.”

Step 5: What should you share and when?

Being authentic does not mean sharing anything and everything in your life at all times. It is allowing yourself to become more of yourself when appropriate.

Maybe you have even blurted out something and wanted to shovel it back into your mouth. We have all been there.

And you may wonder how much of yourself to share when facing life’s challenges. For example, should you talk about a challenging personal experience while it is happening?

It’s all about putting the right clothes on at the right time.

Evaluate what to share, when to share it, and with whom by continuously tapping into your gut to find the best answer.

Will this be helpful for you to share right now, or is it something that may be shared later?

These three questions are helpful to frame your decision:

  1. Does this need to be said?
  2. Does this need to be said by me?
  3. Does this need to be said by me right now?

Especially as a personal brand, you are faced with this decision often. For example, last January, I showed up online every day after discovering I had a brain tumor. First, don’t panic. I am fine. It turns out that this is a 99.9% worry-free event.

However, I did not know my fate for about three very long weeks and was unsure if I should share the news WHILE I was experiencing such uncertainty, so I waited until after I knew my prognosis. After all, it might have been too emotional for me and others if I had shared this news without knowing the outcome.

And why did I share this with my audience at all?

I honestly debated this; however, after tapping into my Core Value to connect authentically, I decided to share my journey to help and inspire others.

Remember that sometimes your news does not need to be said by you at all. You do not need to share everything with everyone. Only you know what is right for you.


Showing up as authentically yourself is essential to living a fulfilling life and business you love. Being genuine highlights your unique talents and gifts and allows you to connect, feel good, and ultimately be more successful.

Step 1: What roles do you play?
Step 2: How do you show up in each of these roles?
Step 3: Why do you show up this way?
Step 4: Who do you want to be instead?
Step 5: What should you share and when?

Michele x

If you need help building your authentic vision by creating the right strategy (you can actually stick to) email me the word PROGRAM.

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