031: The Importance of Being Your True Self [Podcast]

What do you do? It’s a common question. And it seems like the answer should be easy enough. But it doesn’t always feel so simple. Many of us struggle with answering that very question.

031: The Importance of Being Your True Self [Podcast]

Sometimes the thing we are doing or the job title we hold doesn’t encompass who we fully are. Sometimes, our dream looks different than our day job. And the truth is we are more than what we do. We are not just one thing. Which is where the struggle comes in.

In this episode of The Portfolio Life, my co-host Andy Traub and I discuss the importance of owning who you are, even when it feels risky.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (if viewing this in email, click here).

You can also download it at iTunes or on Stitcher.

Listen in as we talk about practical and profound ways to own who you really are. And as usual Andy and I share a couple predictions for the future.

What we don’t say (and why it matters)

Sometimes, people won’t admit who they are. They’ll hem and haw and stammer, waiting for permission to be their true selves. I know this, because I was this way (still am sometimes). And I can tell you: it is an utter waste of time.

Here’s the essence of the episode in a short statement:

The things you neglect to say about yourself say as much, if not more, than the things you really do say. [Tweet that]

In other words, what you are afraid to admit about yourself just might be an indicator of exactly who you are.

On the show, we talk more about this fear of becoming ourselves and how we shouldn’t ignore it. Instead, we ought to realize that in the midst of this fear lie some of our greatest assets.

Don’t spend your life hiding behind the facade of a fake self. Be your true self — you’ll be happier, more successful, and live a better life. [Tweet that]

As you listen to this week’s episode of the podcast, I hope you’ll find encouragement to be your true self, even when it feels risky.

Show highlights

In this episode we discuss:

  • The most significant conversation I’ve ever had, in regards to my vocation.
  • When I began to call myself a writer and what happened the following week.
  • The most overlooked page on every website, the number one clicked page on my homepage, and why they are so important.
  • Three things that need to be included on your About Page.
  • The importance of owning who you are.
  • The bravest thing you can do for yourself.

Resources mentioned

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode. Feel free to download it and share with friends. And I’d love for you to take a moment to leave a review on iTunes (this helps more people find the podcast).

I wanted to remind you about Jeff Walker’s video series on how to do online product launches. I highly recommend this free video series. I’m a proud student and affiliate and recommend his course (which you’ll hear more about but are in no way obligated to buy). I can honestly say this is the best stuff I’ve ever seen on the subject of launches. If you decide to get his course, I will receive a commission, but remember I don’t recommend anything I don’t use myself and absolutely love.

Click here to check out the videos.

What’s one fear that keeps you from being your true self? Share in the comments.

26 thoughts on “031: The Importance of Being Your True Self [Podcast]

  1. I loved this podcast. I too will be working on my about page and just put writer under my name on my email signature. Thank you Jeff for your ability to keep it real and inspirational.

  2. I guess the fear that holds me back is my on doubt and like you said comparing my success to someone else. –

    I was actually in Franklin last week and visited the book store you spoke about. It was fun to look through the stacks of books for an hour or so. The wife found a book she liked but the daughter and I left empty handed.

  3. Great conversation again. You guys are always good for thoughtful, funny discussion.

    Would also recommend Brene Brown’s other work: “Daring Greatly.” She’s so smart on this topic. Just like you guys. Owning who you are and what you do is part of climbing out of the stands and “stepping into the arena.” Good stuff.

    I like the “guild” idea and want in. Seriously. We could do T-shirts, a coat-of arms, tasteful tattoos, the whole thing. But I think it should be for people who can answer the question, “What is a guild?” Harsh, yes, but what’s a guild without standards?

  4. Great podcast guys! I’m a “strengths” zealot and in my studies, I encountered a quote by Marcus Buckingham, “Live a first rate version of your life vs. a second rate version of someone else’s”. I changed my about page to say “skills obtained under the tutelage of Jeff Goins and Andy Traub”. Tribewriters Class of 2012. Seriously, thanks!

  5. Fear of travel. I don’t care for air travel, with the crowded plane, delays, security checks. I’ve ducked a few experiences in the past because of this fear, but now I just force myself. I won’t allow an irrational fear to hold me back!

  6. My fear is success and failure, by choosing the wrong thing. I had one blog for a couple years that had limited readership that I just stopped. I want to develop a new blog and have multiple ideas, but am am worried about limiting myself by choosing the wrong topic. It’s an ongoing battle with in myself.

  7. As always love listening to your thought. My fear is to confess that I’m an artist. It feels like I’m putting on dress clothes and pretending to be my grandmother (who was an artist). Thanks for challenging me and I too love Brene Brown.

  8. I’m afraid no one wants to read what I want to write. Thank you for the advice… I am reworking the About page.

  9. How timely! I’m working on my “About” page as we speak! I struggle with how long it should be, and it feels like I am bragging or “tooting my own horn,” which as a child, I was always told not to do. Every time I tweak a bio for some purpose, it’s almost shocking sometimes like – “Wow! I did all that?” Do you ever get over that? How long should the content on your About page be? Any guidelines for what to be sure to put in and what not? BTW, I’ve been a working writer (writing for a local ethnic newspaper) for nearly 10 years. Up until about 1-1/2 years ago, when people asked what I did, I would say, “I work for the local Greek newspaper”, or “I work with The Greek Star.” I had a hard time saying, “I am a writer!” When I finally started saying it, it sounded kinda weird, but hey, I am a writer! Why is that so strange to say? I do still catch myself occasionally, talking around that phrase instead of just saying it. When someone says, “I hear you are a writer,” it still occasionally catches me off guard. I do fear that people won’t like my work. Irrational fear?

  10. For me, it’s location, location, location. In my current environment, which happens to be the one in which I was raised, what induces me to keep myself bottled up is the fear of the consequences of revealing aspects of myself that those close to me don’t wish to see or hear about. It has been my experience that once I relocate far enough geographically — which requires a certain escape velocity (measured in dollars) — that fear is gone. Works like magic. (I’ll get into the details with my therapist.)

  11. To answer the question: What do you do? Well it took me a long time to admit and to own my professional identity because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. When I started challenging those negative thoughts and peeled back the underlying issues that caused me to think that way, I was able to say I am a counselor, I am a writer. I am called to be these things and I am passionate about being a counselor and writer, so that is what I do and who I am. Sometimes that fear comes back, but I work to challenge it every day by stepping out of my comfort zone to be and do the things I am passionate about. Thanks again for a great pod cast!

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