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Authenticity… about that…

The best thing for business, influence and engagement is being authentic, but what does that really look like?

So I signed up to a challenge recently, and was asked to go live to teach my audience about five things I have expertise in and can deliver value in.

It got me thinking a lot. There are so many things I love teaching; I lecture at local Universities, mentor people in business, mentor organisations in well being, am an “expert” by experience in mental health, a blogger, patient advocate, “wise” friend (from being dealt one too many shit cards!); and despite my background in academia and healthcare, I wouldn’t call myself an expert in anything.

For a long time, I always said to myself, “I am good at everything I do (modest, I know…), but I want to be outstanding at something”. I was constantly looking outwards for the next thing that I could excel at on this quest to be outstanding, but never seemed to satisfy it.

When I got my Biology degree, I applied for PhDs, then I got a lot of jobs, gained my nursing Masters, had an amazing job on Cardiothoracic Intensive Care with an incredible team, moved to Neonatal Intensive Care, literally saved lives, did 1.5 years veterinary placements and applied to be a Veterinary Surgeon, (paused for a mental health breakdown), set up a small business which is soon to be a charity (bear with me! It’s bloody hard!), started another Masters degree, started an even bigger business, became a charity Ambassador, a regular on National TV, blogs and podcasts and am about to negotiate a dream contract with a team so outstanding, I am still pinching myself even now. Yet still, I acknowledge, that I am not yet an expert.

The thing is, I don’t know if I ever will be an expert. In fact, I don’t know if I ever want to be- because I will always have so much more to learn. What I do know now though, is that I am an outstanding person, and I always have been. I just never had the self esteem to see it until now. Every single one of us is outstanding.

So yes, I could do the challenge the normal way, hype up my title, theme my Instagram so I look perfect for my brand, post content every day until I’m not quite sure if the words are my own anymore. Or, I could do it my way.

This isn’t to say either is right or wrong. I’m just not bothered about my follower count. I tried the whole branding shoot and it didn’t feel right yet. I tried shitty sales messages in people’s DM’s. Creating a Facebook group. Bulking up my profiles. Accepting what seems like a country’s worth of friend requests- and… it’s just not my thing right now.

Right now, I still work on the ground. I still work from my bed when I am unwell. I still cry with gratitude every time someone messages me about their mental health. I still call my closest friends first when I’m presented with amazing new opportunities. I still blush when someone compliments me. I still save lives. Still post pictures of the sky and the mountains all over my Instagram. Still post inconsistently on social- sometimes even disappearing for weeks because I enjoy peace and quiet. But, I am still thriving in everything that I do. I am consistent in my mindset, determined, driven, focused; and even if you can’t see it, I can.

So I don’t have five things to teach at this very moment; I only have one, and it’s this:

Do what feels right for you.

It’s not to say that I won’t try some of the aforementioned again, but for now, what I’m doing isn’t just working, its excelling. And that’s what I have to teach you.

Trust your gut. Trust your vision. Listen to your intuition.

I’m not judging, just supporting; and I’m always happy to talk.

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