The foolish trap of trying to blend in when you’re meant to stand out.
Image description: Image of a cat in a dog costume, attempting to blend in between two huskies, though it's clear it's not a husky.

Wanna give your eyes a break? Listen here.
It’s easy to see or hear things that make us feel like we don't belong. These messages can make us feel like outsiders, constantly looking in.

The pressure to conform to societal norms is REAL. Especially at work. Some days being yourself feels like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Ouch!

That's why it was so refreshing when I heard Michele Lopez’s challenge - we don't match energy, we shift the atmosphere.

DAMN that’s empowering!

But, as I often do, I found myself asking, "Ok. But. HOW?"

Because while I love an empowering anthem, what I absolutely adore is… Specific. Actionable. Strategy.

I dug a little bit deeper into how you can stand firm and shift the energy in your space. Here are three key takeaways and actions for you!

1. Your values are your value
What really defines our worth? It's not about the jingle or folds in our pocket or our social status. It's about the heart-held beliefs and principles - our values. They are the things that reveal who we are and what matters to us, and they're what set us apart from everyone else.

When we live true to our values, we add something truly unique to our relationships, our work, and our communities. Simply put, being genuine about what we believe in is the most authentic way we can express our value.

🎬 TAKE ACTION: Know your values. Write them down. Put them somewhere you see daily.


2. The Power is Yours
Rather than trying to blend in by mirroring others - matching energy, regularly remind yourself of your values. For instance, two of my key values are honesty and compassion. Before I chat with someone, I think about these values and remind myself how important they are to me. This helps me share my true feelings in a kind way, and helps me from falling into the trap of forcefully pushing my opinions on others.

By regularly reminding yourself of your values and living in line with them, you can confidently embrace your true self and shine in your own unique energy.

🎬 TAKE ACTION: Do more things that match your values and less of those that don't. Yeah, it CAN be that simple!

3. Authenticity is Freedom
You might think that you've got to either blend in with everyone else or stand out on your own. But, the reality is, there are tons of choices out there. We're free to find our own path, doing what feels right according to our personal values. Don’t forget, YOU get to decide what being true to YOU really means.

🎬 TAKE ACTION: When you're stuck in binary thinking. Try the game "5 things".

🏓 How to play 5 THINGS: Set a timer for a quick 60 seconds and challenge yourself to come up with five different options. Any five options will do, you only got 60 seconds! -- This fun little exercise helps you break free from black and white thinking.

That's all for this edition of Leadership Out Loud!

As you go about your day, remember - your values are your value. Stay true to them and watch as you shift the atmosphere. Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and joy!

Stay playful leader,
Betsaida LeBron
ImprovEQ CEO

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