One thing that’s driven into us from childhood is the mantra to “just be yourself.” Maybe this is why, when I’m teaching many of my clients new behaviours meant to help them along their path to becoming an Engaging Executive, they’ll stop and say, “I don’t know if this is right. This doesn’t feel very authentic.”

This is where it becomes so very crucial to realise there’s a big difference between developing a new skill or technique and taking on something unauthentic or “false.” Think about it this way — when you’re learning to walk as a baby, nothing seems normal or natural about it! Whenever a parent tries to teach their child to walk, often the baby will just look around in confusion, cry a bit and then sit right back down. Your parents would never just give up, though, and say, “Oh, well, this probably doesn’t feel normal for the baby. Probably best to just let them be their most authentic selves and lie around all day.”

Even if a new skill feels strange or out of the ordinary at first, that’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t make you less “you” at all. It’s just making you a better, more capable version of yourself.