Being ‘yourself’ can be tricky when you don’t have just one self.
Rafael Nadal (my sportsperson pretend best friend) is brutal on the tennis court and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His forehand is so ferocious that it would literally knock most human beings unconscious. He’s so badass, they’ve named an actual asteroid after him. Yet he’s one of the most charming people in sport off the court.
Doesn’t his inhuman power come from being completely ‘himself’ by being completely different selves on and off the court?
Investment 6: Your Selves
A growing body of research suggests that it’s probably healthier to express all the many facets of your personality rather than trying to be one set of qualities all the time.
I don’t need research to know that I go Sasha Fierce on the dancefloor but might as well put on spectacles and a smoking jacket when I sit down to write at my desk.
Knowing a person in one context doesn’t mean you know them in another. Knowing yourself in one context doesn’t mean knowing yourself in another.
If Rafa hadn’t found a way to channel his ferocity in one particular arena while allowing his disarming charm to come out in another then he wouldn’t have the ‘controlled brutality’* to be the best in the world and also a really nice guy.
And you don’t have to be an elite athlete to play with the qualities that appeal to you. Being someone (or around someone) who operates as if they’re the same all the time (always on a low/always on a high) is exhausting.
If you invest time in getting to know all of your selves, you get to invent yourself, to author your own story. Author… one root of authentic.
Maybe authenticity includes having fun with your personality (and something in common with Rafa Nadal!)
*’Controlled brutality’… stunning sports commentary. I badly wish I’d come up with that… it does sound like something Jane Austen might’ve said when she was off camera