I know you’ve experienced this: Just as you’re about to get in front of a group or have a high-value meeting, a well-meaning friend or co-worker says, “Just be yourself — you’ll be great!”


This roadrunner is just being him or herself. How magnificent!

Am I right?

For years, those three little words would strike terror into my heart. What does that mean? How do I be myself? What if I’m not myself? Does that mean I’ll fail? Ughhhhhh!

Can you relate? Those three little words can pack such a punch, so when you really can “just be yourself” in front of an audience, or anywhere else, that is priceless on every level. As the saying goes, you feel comfortable in your own skin, and not surprisingly, sharing your truth in whatever form comes more easily.

This roadrunner is just being him or herself. How magnificent!

Here are some thoughts on how to discover your own ability to “just be yourself” in front of an audience, or anywhere else:

1. Recognize that who you are and what you have to offer is absolutely perfect for the group you are with or you wouldn’t be there. There is a bigger picture here. On the surface, you may be there to share your expertise, and it’s important to show up and deliver your knowledge with dedication and professionalism. That said, you have no idea what else is taking place for the people in that room and how you may be impacting them. You have no idea what you’re there to learn. So, you can let go of wondering if you need to be more than you are. You are not only enough, you are exactly what is needed and where you are supposed to be.

2. You are not in control of everything (or much of anything, really). This is where humility comes in. You play an important part, yes, and at the same time, many things have conspired for you to be where you are. It’s okay to trust that and let go of any self-importance that innocently emerges, causing bouts of insecurity and angst!

3. What you can control over time is how you show up. Make the commitment to cultivate awareness, skill and compassion. Do your best. That will change depending on the day and the circumstances. That’s where the compassion comes in. It’s okay to relax and be yourself when you know you’ve done all you can.

4. Know that the only thing you can ever do is just be yourself. Nothing else is possible! You are alwaysyour beautiful, imperfect, perfect self, whatever that looks like in the moment.

5. Put your focus on those you are there to serve. When you know it’s about them, not you, some of those crazy-making thoughts will subside and you can enjoy “just being yourself.”

How do you know when you are “just being yourself?” For me, the biggest indicator is a feeling of joy. Not necessarily that laugh out loud joy, although that’s wonderful and happens often. I’m talking about the joy of knowing you’re home.

The other day, a client of mine came off stage and said, “You taught me how to just be myself.” (That’s where I got the idea for this article.) I tell you, I just showed up being myself, doing what I do, sharing what I know. All things conspired for us to work together, and she did all the work. I can’t even capture in words how deeply grateful I am to have been part of her journey and to share in the joy.