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Authenticity and Consistency: The Only Way Out

I’m so happy that the 2020’s have now become reality.  If you are like me (and many people I know), the past few years have been quite difficult and have been jarring for numerous ways.  Here’s to the hope that the energy of the next decade will bring about some better energy and some more healthy times for everyone and our world.

A number of things have recently intersected my life that have been reinforcing a particular message to me. Namely that the only way out of any dilemma that I’m facing is to understand what it is that is really important to and true for me, figure out what I want to see in the world, what the steps that I need to do to make them happen, and the confidence and trust in myself that I can do it, despite any messages I might get to the contrary. For too many occasions I’ve hesitated or put off something that I felt was right for me because I didn’t feel confident that everyone else was on board with it.  I’m realizing that my internal critic/protector/boogieman has been veering me off the path that will be best for me just so it can feel safe. It’s time for me to find the inner strength to put that aside and be more in line with my own true self.

The four things that have come into my life recently that made this all the more apparent are:

  1. Two of my former clients, Alfred Schofield and Cameron Fischer have been working on their startup, VitalFit, for the past four years to bring a new supply of quality natural supplements to market.  I was there with them in the beginning, giving them advice and encouragement, so much so that I was deemed the CSO (Chief Spiritual Officer) of VitalFit, as my role was to just talk with them and keep them a bit sane.  They worked incredibly hard and moved forward when many would have quit. Finally, this week it was announced that Tom Brady’s company, TB12, has purchased VitalFit and Alfred and Cameron are joining that team. This is a tremendous story of taking the small steps and believing in yourself.
  2. I was lucky to be a guest on Ed Evarts’ new podcast Be Brave at Work. Ed and I have served on professional association boards and he’s always been a professional in the management consulting field that I’ve trusted. He started this podcast because he said that so often when he worked with presidents and CEO’s, they would say that the thing that made a big difference for them was when they would say something that they were scared to say, and the difference that made. Conversely, he shared that many times he would find that those who had kept something to themselves were hindered in their careers. This all got me thinking, and my topic was Being Out at Work.  While the most obviously thing was about being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and the stressors of being your whole self at work, it’s more than that. I’ve found that many people have kept part of themselves away from their co-workers, not because it wasn’t appropriate for the workplace, but because they were scared to let people know about something in their lives (i.e. someone is into anime, collects weird items, or performs in avant garde theatre). Whatever it is, it’s about not being true to themselves and letting others opinions, whether real or anticipated, rule your actions.
  3. One of my weaknesses is comedy channels on YouTube, and I’ve recently because completely hooks on the channel of Charlie Berens and the Manitowoc Minute. Charlie is originally a journalist from Wisconsin who has transitioned into comedy. One of the messages he got from the professionals in journalism was to tone down his accent and try to have a more neutral tone, but he’s found his success in doubling down on what makes him unique and special and his comedy is chock full of midwestern humor and an over-the-top accent. I’ve learned a lot about muskies, brats, Da Packers, and hunting calls from watching his many videos.  The key here again for me was that was has made Charlie successful is not that he fit in, but he worked hard at what made him unique and there’s an audience that appreciates it.
    Also, his key phrase is “Keep ‘Er Movin“, which I understand is a play on the Wisconsin state motto of “Forward” but I’ve grown to keep saying to myself that I just have to keep going and doing things, despite any fears the voice inside my head is telling me.
  4. Lastly, I managed to find a video of Jason Zook on YouTube, and that led me to his most recent book, Own Your Weird: An Oddly Effective Way for Finding Happiness in Work, Life, and Love.  In it, he highlights all the reasons why he’s found success by just owning who he is and the weird ways that he’s done it (i.e. auctioning off his last name and promoting companies by wearing their t-shirts).  In this book, he goes into detail on all the things that he has done, personally as well as recommending to others through his business coaching, to do things outside of the box. While there is a great amount of value in the book, one concept really stood out for me. That concept is authenticity + consistency = success.  It’s the showing up as authentic all the time that makes a difference in your own life and the lives of others. 
Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield, MA

So, after getting a similar message from multiple venues, as well as other life occurrences that have been reinforcing the same message, my goal for this new decade is to be authentic and consistent in my showing up in the world as the weird person that I am (as an Aquarius, this should be second nature to me). The consistent part is the more challenging aspect, and I feel I need to get my particular quirky sense of the world out more often and not worry about what other people will think. This post is putting it out there that my goal is to post an article every week so that I can be that consistently weird guy, instead of just the weird guy that pops up every once in a while.  Hopefully the consistency component of the above equation will lead to success.

I’m looking forward to you joining me on this new journey in a new decade and being more authentically weird together.

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