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Guest blog: Only the real win

I talked with a friend. Her daughter recently split up with a soon-to-be Pop Star. Friend was saying that this chap was trying very hard to play the role. It really struck me just how difficult it is to keep up a pretence and how being that way disempowers the player.

How is it that our society encourages us to build walls of complexity and untruths around our lives and ourselves? How much effort do we expend doing that?

I had a very interesting conversation some years ago with a client, the chief executive of a large Footwear retail group. I had been working with him, his company and was close to a couple of members of his board for some years and always felt his detachment. He sat in meetings in HIS chair at the end of his big boardroom table; he would be distant both physically and metaphorically.

His board struggled with his detachment and a perceived lack of direction. His company struggled. Morale was low, sale were poor, his stores were tired and dull.

One day I met with him and asked a question…”Why do you separate yourself from those around you? Why do you have a wall around yourself? Why do you have this suit of armour that you appear to wear?”.

He thought for a few seconds then, very quietly said to me “I do it to protect myself and my company”.

There was a pause.

I responded.

“Do you not think that, if you build a wall around yourself, our nature is to want to find what is on the other side? We will look to find ways around it, we will chip away at it, we will remove sections, we may attack it to find its weak spots and get in?”. He listened and I went on: “You build a wall and you invite attack. If you are able to be yourself. If you are prepared to be in your truth, YOU ARE INVULNERABLE”…”If you hide nothing then the energy you may have put in to the pretence is available for you to use far more productively”.

He acknowledged what I said, was very quiet for some minutes then went on his way. I stayed working with his organisation for some months after that conversation and within those months I began to notice a palpable shift in the atmosphere of his offices. His board members were happier and celebrating his new openness and his sharing of his vision. Within 18 months the fortunes of his business radically improved. His shops were brighter somehow.

Not only does it take up an enormous amount of effort, but, by not living our truth we negatively effect everything that goes on around us. Conversely, by living and being real and true, we have enormous positive influence over everything that happens for us. I am constantly amazed at the level of influence we have way beyond our immediate circle.

We are also at a point in history when dishonesty and pretence are, often, immediately obvious. We cannot be tricked by it any more. We are so much more aware both intellectually and intuitively of what is going on around us.

And.

It is so simple. Be real and you will win.

Only the real win.

Here’s more about our current guest blogger, Martin Knox.

Are you interested in guest blogging for Creative Nottingham?