The Real You

Imitation and flattery

When we are very, very young, we don’t care what others think.

We live outside the zone of self-consciousness.

It’s one of the things that make little kids so funny and cute. They don’t mind making mistakes because they aren’t protecting a self-image based on what others feel about them.

Dogs never lose this, which is one of their most attractive traits.

But soon enough, we humans do become self-aware; we become absorbed by self-consciousness. We define ourselves, at least partially, by what others think of us — by what we want others to think of us.

And many of us are uncomfortable with what makes us different: a voice too high, a delivery totally unlike any other.

So, in our business, we often try to sound like someone else, someone we’ve heard in our formative years who was successful, hoping we can be accepted by copying someone else’s sound, someone else’s success.

But no really successful person, in or out of Radio, has ever been an imitation of anyone else. They are all true originals.

Ron Chapman, Dr. Don Rose, Howard Stern, Bobby Rich, Delilah — none of these talents sounded anything like anyone else, except themselves.

Who are you?

What do you hope listeners will feel as they listen to you?

What content and perspective do you bring to your show that is totally unique and irreplaceable?

What do you do every break that makes you remarkable, memorable — an authentic original?

Once you recognize it is fear that keeps you from revealing your true self, you’ve begun the process of becoming irreplaceable.

The risk is that listeners won’t like your true self all that much. The fear is a fear of rejection, a fear of failure that’s personal.

Are you willing to spend your life settling in order to avoid the pain of rejection and failure? Are you willing to read someone else’s words, to borrow someone else’s delivery patterns, to be satisfied with being a weak imitation of someone else’s authentic self?

This life is your one chance to be you, and no one can be you as well as you can.

Find your voice. Find your perspective. Find your uniqueness. Find your authenticity. And then lay it out there, to be either loved or rejected.

Don’t settle for “tolerated.”

Don’t settle for “background.”

Make me feel every time I hear you.

Dare to be different.

Dare to be great.

It’s not what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you are not.“~ Denis Waitley