Our local high streets are lined with the same familiar retail names, every other film released is now in 3d and yet more contestants are competing on TV to be the best chef, the best model or even the best baker! In business, expert after expert is offering to show how we can get more clients and make more money. And at work employees are expected to dress and behave so that they fit in.
Now that’s not to say we shouldn’t utilise proven formulas that work, of course we should. And deliberately mismatching your employer’s culture probably wouldn’t be the wisest career move ever. But isn’t there a place for creativity and authenticity too?
It seems that too many people and businesses are becoming so alike that they’re in danger of losing their own identity. It’s as though they don’t actually know what makes them unique, or what they really stand for anymore.
So what is it that makes you you?
I’m a great believer in creating space. Space for new ideas. Space to think. And space to be yourself. So if you’re curious, find some space and have a go at the following fun exercise. You might just be surprised by the results ;-)
Step 1 – If you could have more than one life what else would you be? Play with the idea and come up with a few alternatives. Be as inventive as you like, for instance, you could be an explorer, an artist, a musician, a cat, a time traveller, a magician or whatever takes your fancy.
Step 2 – Taking each idea in turn, consider the following questions;
· If you were xxx what would you get to have, do or be?
· If you were xxx what would you be expressing about yourself?
Step 3 – Notice any patterns or themes in your responses. What does this say about who you are? What can you do to have more of this in your life? What does this mean for your business? How can you balance this with the needs of your employer or customers?
By all means be flexible and adaptable in life, just don’t lose yourself in the process ;-)
And remember, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” Joseph Campbell