Being your unique self sounds simple, and it is!

If you go to a lot of business seminars, courses or workshops, you will no doubt come across various tools for discovering how you work or learn. Leadership matrixes, personality tests, colour profiles, etc. etc. You often end up in some kind of category like ‘warrior’, ‘thinker’ or, ‘blue person’. It can be helpful in forming teams and understanding differences between you and your colleagues. But obviously humans are far too complex to divide us up into 4, 6 or 8 categories.

Take a few minutes to listen to Caroline McHugh's TED talk on being yourself , if you haven't already. I found her message a wonderful reminder of my own uniqueness and the power of understanding who I am. We cannot be compared with others, and we shouldn’t try to be like someone else because that will just set us up to fail at being ourselves. When I am myself, my work and my social interactions have a lightness and enjoyment to them and I feel like I’m ‘going with the flow’.

Valuing uniqueness

I meet a lot of entrepreneurs and Caroline’s talk reminds me to value their uniqueness, and to be careful not to categorise or label them or their ideas. In business we talk about USP (unique selling point), and I believe as an entrepreneur starting up a business, we need to understand our own uniqueness and from this our USP will come to the surface. But even that process will be different for everyone, there is no standard formula to discovering who we are.

By all means, keep using the personality tools to understand how you work best, but remember that you don’t fit in a box! ‘’When you figure out how to be yourself it’s an incredibly liberating, untragic way to go through life. So you don’t develop an identity that’s predicated on being a patchwork personality. You’re not a composite, an amalgam, of all your experience and influences, not just somebody’s boss, or somebody’s mum, or anybody’s anything. You are yourself.’’ Caroline McHugh

By Minke Beviss