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Are you fitting the mold or making one?

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you needed to be someone else to be successful?  Perhaps it was in a job interview, where you uncomfortably had to “dress the part” or present yourself in a certain way to show you were “just like them”.  Maybe it was acting like you loved a product or service that you actually despised – just to try and “win the business.” Or, it could even have been while dating someone – making believe you liked to do the same things he/she liked, just to spend time together (even though you really didn’t enjoy the activity at all). 

People do this all the time. I know I have found myself tempted on many occasions, and have even done so more than once.  However, after a few such experiences, personal and professional, I have realized that trying to fit a mold that someone else has created is simply a recipe for disaster, either in the near or long term.  The more time you spend trying to “fit the mold,” the more time you take away from creating your own.

Every one of us in unique. We each offer unique skills, experiences, backgrounds and perspectives.  And, if we are not allowed to share our uniqueness, our value is immediately diminished. Trying to “fit the mold” can also have several other negative effects.

1.  It causes unnecessary stress. 
Life is stressful enough as it is.  Why add this to it?

2.  It sets the wrong expectations.
If people think you are something you are not, they will also expect things that you may not be able to deliver on.

3.  It limits open and creative thinking.
If you are uncomfortable with who you are, how will you be able to speak openly and share ideas that may not fit the mold either?

4.  It gets in the way of doing well. 
Every minute you spend trying to be something you’re not, is a minute taken away from improving who you are.It delays the inevitable:  failure

5.  At the end of the day, it just doesn’t work.  
The job won’t last.  The work won’t be great.  Or the connection will eventually fade and the relationship will end.

So, the next time you are in a position where you feel like you need to “fit the mold” of another individual, culture or company, think again.  Recognize when you are trying to be someone or something that you are not, and know when to move on.  Be yourself.  Be authentic.  People will appreciate you for exactly who you are.  And, if they don’t, it’s their loss.

Please share your thoughts or comments with me here.

Thanks for reading!
Jane

4 thoughts on “Are you fitting the mold or making one?

  1. Meghan Gross

    Well said! In my role as a communications advisor I use the word “authenticity” in just about every presentation that I do. Being true to one’s character is the best way to get a point across, whether in a personal or professional setting.

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