Represent Yourself Well
“My friends and I have a name for ‘those’ people.” The man with whom I was chatting had just said those words, and as I heard them, I could feel my heart drop. I had just met him and I was really hoping to jive with this dude. He was referring to a specific group of people in the theatre community.
“We call them art-fa@s.”
Boom. My heart fluttered – and not in the good way. He quickly went on to justify his statement through disclaimers of how his friends in the theatre world had come up with the term, so… “it was okay.”
It was not okay.
Up until that point – this guy had represented himself as culturally accepting, kind, intelligent and funny. When he dropped that A-bomb, it was like the entire persona he had been showing me was suddenly shattered.
After I told him how I felt about his comment (not good), I was reminded of the idea that I’m always sharing with my clients…and that is to “represent yourself well.” The world interprets who you are and what you’re all about by listening to and observing your words and deeds. The question to ask yourself, then, is: am I representing myself in a way that clearly and easily tells others what I want them to know about me? If you’re an artist, teacher, life coach, business guru, athlete or mom – be all about that! The adage “walk the walk, and talk the talk” rings true here. Unapologetically show the world what you’re all about by mindfully communicating and consistently “showing up” in a way that aligns with who you say you are.
Ever met someone who doesn’t align with who they say they are? Like: an overweight personal trainer, a health advocate who smokes, or an artist who never shows his work? I definitely have, and it always makes me wonder: should I trust you? Are you really who you say you are?
Ultimately, I learned that the man who derogatorily spoke about theatre people was not the kind of person I wanted to be around. His “good guy” veil was illusory – he really wasn’t a kind person, and he had – in fact – represented his true self quite well through his offensive language. Ironic, yes…amusing, no. But, at least he showed me this truth upfront.
Who do you tell the world you are? What do you want others to immediately know about you? Dig into this definition of self and check to see if you are consistently communicating that to others. Represent yourself well to everyone you meet…proudly let them know who you are and what you are here to accomplish. They may not always agree with you or even like you, but they will ultimately appreciate that you were honest and clear from the start.