A sign over my desk reads “The full expression of Pat.” It’s a reminder to throw out the fears and second-guesses and just go ahead and be authentic.
What? Be authentic? Give up all the masks and pretenses? Take the risk that I won’t fit in? Yes, because that’s when I do my best.
It’s taken a very long time to learn this. I’ve spent decades trying to be what I think others expect of me. The good girl who plays it safe. The faux-extrovert who tries to blend in with the noisy crowd. The compliant one who hides her true feelings rather than take the risk of confrontation.
Seth Godin writes in the book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable that to play it safe is actually risky. What the world needs is people who are willing to go out on a limb and be different—i.e., be a purple cow who gets noticed in a field of ordinary black and white cattle.
For me, the purple cow is, well, me. I’ve spent my life feeling like I was from another planet, which is why I’ve had to try so hard to hide the full expression of myself. But with Godin’s blessing—as well as an unrelenting yearning from my heart—I’ve decided to throw safety to the wind.
If I want to be the Wizard of Ease, so be it. If wearing a silly hat and waving a magic wand will help me be a playful midwife for people’s dreams, then bring on the silliness.
Enough with fitting in with the crowd. It’s time to step into the full expression of Pat.
What will it take for you to be the full expression of YOU?
To your ease!
Pat Daniel, Ph.D.