authenticity

Like many people, I spent most of my life focused on making other people happy. Although I didn’t do it consciously, I tried to change myself so they would like me. I was basically a human chameleon–matching whatever expectation I thought was needed or wanted.  After many years of trying to be the perfect kid for my parents, I tried to be the perfect wife, the perfect housekeeper, the perfect mom and of course, the perfect employee.

I would be crushed if someone criticized me.  My internal interpretation (not consciously) was that translated to they didn’t like me–meaning–I was a failure. I’m no good.  If I said something that my boss disagreed with, I would quickly think, “Why did I say that, what a stupid thing to say.” I often found myself reviewing my words before I would speak–I must say the perfect thing so “they” will like me.

After years of attempting to please everyone else, I realized I didn’t know what pleased me.  Although my friends probably never noticed, I didn’t have opinions about controversial topics and more often than not, I would simply go with the flow. I was actually pretty successful at people pleasing, but eventually, I met my match–someone I felt just didn’t like me. Unfortunately, it was a person I reported to, so it put me in a downward spiral.

Eventually I got low enough to start my climb back up.  One of the first things I did was simply watch and listen to others around me.  I became an observer–paying attention to what was happening while withholding judgment.  I gradually started listening to my own voice–even though at first, I may not have said the words out loud, I was aware of what I wanted– “What movie did I want to see?” “What do I think the answer is?”

I became aware that the question I was afraid to ask was THE question everyone in the room wanted to know (when someone else asked that very question).  Eventually, I got brave and spoke up.  Sometimes what I said or asked changed the whole decision or discussion and I got more courage to try it again.

I learned to share the compliment or thank a person–instead of just thinking it.  Many times the individual would comment how much they appreciated what I said and I was so grateful that I didn’t keep that compliment to myself.

I admit I sometimes slip and get back into my people pleasing mode.  But I’m kinder to myself because I realize I’m doing the best I can at this moment.  And when decisions need to be made, I am aware of my preferences and can make a choice how to proceed from there.

So for the latter part of my life, I am perfecting being the most real, authentic me I can be.

“Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.”  Author Unknown

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Although I had your business card for a few weeks, I hesitated calling you until one day, I just felt inspired to contact you. Am I glad I did! After applying for literally hundreds of jobs this past year with not even one interview…after sending the résumé you created for me, not only did I get the interview, but I got the job! I feel that God inspired me to move forward and sent you into my life when I needed it the most. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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So, thought I'd brighten your day!  My new supervisor complimented my resume. She said she liked the summary at the top. She also commented that she wasn't positive that my background would've jumped out as a perfect match, but it was written in a way that highlighted my skills as a match for her needs. The resume you wrote for me did much more than any of those things, however. It changed the way I view myself.  It supported me, and gave me a confidence that I was lacking at that time. When I first saw your draft, I didn't immediately connect with it, yet I knew it was all truth. It grew on me, or I grew into it. By the time I walked into those last 2 interviews, I had a new confidence. Something deeper than just knowing I could do the job. I knew I was the right choice. That confidence, that knowing, attracted those jobs to me as surely as my credentials well presented.  It was both, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 
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I have built my business through satisfied clients so I cherish testimonials. One of the most stand-out testimonials that was given to me was shared by a client I coached to help her with an upcoming interview.

This client told me later, that she had met a woman at a community event. Jen shared about looking for a position and was telling her about the "biz coach" who prepped her for the interview. The other woman mentioned how she found this excellent person to do her resume and that the résumé itself was highly complemented on in her interview. And best yet, she got the job in the end! In a few minutes, they deducted they were both talking about the same person…ME!

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