In our PEPtalks (Positive Empowering Presentations), we speak a lot about finding out ‘Who You Are’.

Programmers and management at radio stations always tell presenters to ‘follow format’, ‘read the liners’, ‘give artist info’…whatever…and usually encourage presenters to do it ‘their way’. In other words “Go in there and be yourself”.

But, how do you do that? How to you ‘be you’?

It sounds fairly easy, doesn’t it? Hop into the studio, put the mic fader up and just’ be you’.

However, as you possibly know already — it’s the most difficult aspect of being a communicator.

First of all, most people don’t really know who they are. Not really. You feel hints of the real you every now and then but actually focusing and working on ‘you’ is difficult. One reason for this is time — who has the time to think about emotions? We feel them but usually smother them due to lack of time. You need to work, get the train, drive, collect kids, make dinner, write that report. ‘Life’ gets in the way.

It’s why people go to therapy. You reach a point in life where you have a choice to make: either face up to who you are or live in denial. Both are difficult, only one has a positive outcome in the long-term.

So here are five ways you can quickly think about ‘Who You Are’. Think of them as a starter pack to encourage you to explore your self, your life and (in this case) your career as a communicator.

  1. What Do You Want? Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Most people will say “I want to be happy, healthy and secure”. Can’t argue with that. Let me expand on that though by adding a word to the question: ‘What Do You REALLY want?’. Be honest. Do you want to be rich, famous, respected, loved, powerful…? What is the emotion? If you want to be rich…ask yourself why. Keep asking. Maybe you want wealth because it brings financial freedom. That freedom allows you to do whatever you want, whenever you want. That allowing can be called ‘freedom’. So, perhaps it’s freedom you really want and money is your means to attain that feeling. So, What Do You REALLY Want?

2. If Money Wasn’t an Obstacle, What Would You Do? Imagine you now have that financial freedom…what do you do now? Do you continue in your current situation, do you move, do you become a philanthropist, do you buy companies, travel the world, become a photographer, a chef, an online games expert, a priest, a writer, a darts player, a singer, a comedian, a back packer…? What would you do if you had no financial restrictions? What would make you happy? This is part of who you really are.

3. What Are Your Values? Is ‘family’ number one for you? Honesty, loyalty, trust, contribution, growth, influence, leadership, spirituality, service, wisdom…? What drives you? What do you look for in others. You can see your values reflected in the people you spend time with. If you associate with like minded people, take a look at them and find out why you relate to them. What are they displaying that you recognise in yourself. On the opposite side, if you have misgivings in your relationships with people then look at what it is they do that jars with you.

‘We do for others that which we need to do for ourselves’.

4. Your Pitch. If you had one minute to describe yourself to a person who could change your life forever….what would you say? Sixty seconds to sell the very best of you. Every single word matters. Pick the words that will propel you forward.

5. What Would You Do if You Knew You Couldn’t Fail? You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s valid. Not the easiest mindset to get into, especially if you’re feeling down or negative. However, if you use the previous four steps first, this may help. You can use it on air and in life. It can propel your creativity. That ‘bit’ you wanted to do in your show but were scared that it might backfire on you? What if you were guaranteed that it would work and everybody would be talking about it afterwards? That idea you had for a feature…what if you were guaranteed it would be an award winner?? Take that then to life and your day to day self…what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Next time the PD says “Just be You”…tell them you’ll try, but it might take a few years to get there !!

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