I was in Belgium and it was my first time in Europe. Here I was, making my way up the escalator to a room full of women waiting to hear my keynote address. It was amazing to think I was halfway across the world to address a group of high-powered professional women from not just a different country, but a different continent. Suddenly, I was filled with doubt. What if what I had to say wasn’t “enough?” In the U.S., I was known as an experienced speaker who has garnered an impressive number of awards for my communications work, but here…? Surely I couldn’t be doubting myself now!
Then I took a deep breath and decided to just put my secret weapon to work…you know, the one that both you and I have at the ready in moments of doubt. Our authentic self.
Back in the U.S., people usually embrace me or write me off for my optimism, enthusiasm and ability to turn my dreams into reality. Those who embrace me become my friends and colleagues and together we share wonderful adventures and opportunities. Those who do not usually part ways with me.
Years ago, I was given the advice by someone that I should keep all my enthusiasm and passion tucked away so that I could be all things to all people. The whole idea seemed incredibly ingenuous. Why couldn’t I be myself and show my passion for what I did? Then, a trusted mentor of mine confirmed my feelings and told me not to change a thing. I was who I was and that made me unique. Letting my passion show let people know I cared and people needed to know that. If they didn’t like it, I probably wouldn’t do well working with them.
So there, for that international audience, I took those words to heart. I was my vibrant, upbeat, driven, authentic self, set on motivating others in the audience like me to take a chance on their dreams and to never say die.
The international experience was incredible and because of it, I came to some unique conclusions.
Authenticity is Fashionable All Over the World.
In Belgium, on that day, I felt embraced. I wore my authentic self well and my audience approved. I’m convinced that you can never go wrong being your authentic self whether you’re in America, Europe or the North Pole.
Inspiration and Vulnerability Transcends Barriers.
The plain truth is that we are more alike than we are different. No matter where we are from we look for inspiration and we respond to the vulnerability of the exposed authentic self. It’s hard to be the one showing the vulnerability but if you do it, people will respond.
Visionaries Need a Protective Space.
As wonderful as it was to be among my new friends, it was just as wonderful to return to the cocoon of meditation and rest to recharge my energy for the next day. It’s here that I can commune with my authentic self so it’s ready to be unleashed at the next opportunity. It’s here I learn more about who I am and what I care about most.
Far and wide, know that your authentic self is a welcome guest at any party. I’ll be back “across the pond” for another upcoming speaking engagement in Amsterdam and in 2019, a book launch for the first European edition of Today’s Inspired Latina. I’m excited for the future and know wherever I go, as long as I pack my authentic self, I’ll have everything I need to get the job done.
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC international book publishing company (www.figfactormedia.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), creator of Today’s Inspired Latina book series and international movement (www.todayslatina.com), author of eleven books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.