Want More Confidence? Do This In Your Next Conversation…

Today we’re going to dive into how to be more authentic and comfortable in your own skin to improve every area of your life.

Sometimes people hear this and they don’t quite know what it means. They think, “I am being real; I am being myself.” No you’re not. Most of us are on some level—we’re holding ourselves back in some way. Sometimes we even think we have to change everything about ourselves to fit in, and that can be really overwhelming or scary. So, what if you were just 10% more real; more honest; more authentic?

What if you said what you thought 10% more often? What if you were honest 10% more often? What if you were assertive 10% more often? You don’t have to go from zero to 60 or become a whole new person by tomorrow. Even a 5% increase in your attitude can make a huge difference. What would that look like?

I have a client who really struggled with this for a long time because he’s constantly double checking his social filter before he speaks to make certain that he doesn’t make a mistake: Is it inappropriate? Do I sound pushy? Will they think I’m weird or too animated? He wants to say something, but then it circles through his mind several times, and he ends up saying nothing. How does that look to the people with whom he’s trying to communicate?

You have to start by taking some of the pressure off. It’s okay to make a mistake once in a while! All you have to do is acknowledge it—casually own up to the mistake—and move on: “Wow, that came out way more aggressively than I’d intended. But I really am curious about [insert topic here].” Problem solved.

It’s better to take a chance and become a part of the conversation than it is to live life on the sidelines.

When you’re at a pool, do you stand at the edge of the water analyzing it? No. You either dip a toe in to check the temperature or you jump right in—either way, though, you end up in the water.

The 10% rule is the social equivalent of dipping in your toe: You can use it to “test the waters” and get used to the idea of displaying your authenticity. At some point, however, you just have to jump in.    

Some people are more concerned about discovering why they’re scared of jumping into the water. There’s certainly some value in that and it can be very powerful work. Simultaneously, though, it also keeps us focused on a story and gives us an excuse to avoid taking action until we’ve “figured it out.”

We need to remove the excuses and create changes in our behavior. Just do it. Just turn the filter down a little bit and start saying just a little bit more.

Let’s say you’re talking to someone and a question pops into your head. It’s not related to the topic at hand, so you think, That’s totally rude. I’m not going to interrupt. Is it really so awful, though, to take a chance and let your real question come out? “Cool, yeah, yeah. That is interesting . . . Hey can I ask you a completely random question? You said that you went skeet shooting the other day, and I’ve always been curious about it. . . .” No harm done; maybe your question even leads to a better conversation.

Now, the first couple of times trying this are the hardest, so if you want to take a baby step toward changing your behavior, just start by asking yourself this question during conversations: If I were being 10% more real, what would I do right now? What would I say?

You don’t have to actually do or say anything yet—you can just take one week to walk around and ask yourself that question. Eventually, as you get more curious and become comfortable with the idea, you can take the leap and do or say what you’ve been holding back.

You’re never going to be fully liberated unless you take action—unless you take the leap at some point.

Don’t beat yourself up—you can get there over time. At some point, however, you just have to bite the bullet and do it. Get out there and take action! Be 10% more real.

You can “like,” subscribe, or share your experiences below. Have you tried it out? Did people respond positively? What’s standing in the way or stopping you from taking the plunge? Let’s start a dialogue and help each other get to that next level.

Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and know that you’re awesome.

I’ll talk to you soon.