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So, how to create a persona that is authentically you?
Let's do some brainstorming first...
Look for character attributes that you like in other people--people you know personally, acquaintances, or even public personalities. Watch to see how they present those attributes, what they do that lets you see those attributes.
Want an example? Joanne Sher is an encourager. You cannot rub shoulders with her without being encouraged. That's a character trait I like and one I want to include in the persona I step into. So, for years I've been watching Joanne and then I apply that to my life.
Another example is a lady in my church who has a genuine interest in others. When she asks you a question, she listens for the answer and there is no doubt she cares about what you're saying. So I've been watching her. She's a woman who loves to chat, but has mastered the art of listening and I'm trying to apply what I observe in her to my own life.
So, look around yourself for people with character traits you like. Notice how they exhibit these traits.
- What do they look like when they're doing the things we admire?
- What mannerisms do they use?
- What are their facial expressions?
- What about their body language?
You want to use role models to help you understand how they do what they do so you can apply it to your life.
By watching others closely and taking note of how they express and demonstrate certain character traits, you are able to 'try it on' yourself and tweak it so it's you.
Now, think about yourself...
Everyone has different sides of themselves. I do not act the same in a formal setting as I do when I'm home with my family, but I'm still the me in both situations.
So, think about who you are at:
- work or church (There I'm Patty, a more formal, reserved side of me.)
- with close friends (Definitely Peejers with close friends. They see the goofy side of me.)
- with family (yikes. Bratty Jo sometimes, but hey, they're used to me after all these years.)
- with online friends (Depending on the setting, a combination of Patty and Peejers.)
Mix the two parts together...
By combining these sides of me with what I've observed and learned from careful study of others, I found my persona--one I am totally comfortable in, that is 100% me.
My persona has totally changed my life. I'm still Patty and reserved and I'm still goofy Peejers and Bratty Jo (just ask my sister), but now I'm able to combine them, bring out their strengths and utilize things about me that I didn't have access to before.
So tell me, do you have a blueprint for you?
More posts in this series:
Stepping up to Me
Where Did She Come From?