OK. I admit we all have a little iceberg in us. But, what percentage of your authentic self is being offered in the work you do?

Rarely, if never, will you find a person who shares everything that they are with the world. Each of us has so many gifts, talents, skills and passions that we are simply too much for one life time.

However, there are some of us who are huge icebergs offering only a minuscule glimpse for the world to see all of who we can be.  How did this happen? For some, it started early when loved ones told us we could not make a living doing x, y or z. For others, our job descriptions over the years have limited the gifts we offer. For many, we are afraid that others will reject us so its safer to hide our gifts.

As we get older, however, often we long to be our authentic selves and live our best life now. That includes what we do to earn income. In addition, it’s important to be happy and live out purpose at some point.  Is now the time? If you are ready to bring more of who you are above the surface, consider the following five steps:

  • Honest self-assessment. If you want to make a living doing work that matters, you have to honestly assess the convergence of gifts, skills, passions and market forces. Yes, you must balance how you see using your time with what the market is willing to pay you for.
  • Explore your why. Why is it important for you to bring more of yourself to your work? A compelling why will give you courage to move forward.
  • Dispel the myths. Don’t take the words of others about what is profitable and what is not. People have earned income with many unusual talents and products.  Always test the market to make sure someone is willing to buy what you want to offer.
  • Use your words. Get in the habit of positive self-talk. Tell yourself that pursuing your dreams will be well worth the effort.
  • Test the waters. No, you don’t have to quit your day job and throw caution to the wind. A side hustle can be a perfect solution to explore you best next without making a permanent commitment. The online gig marketplace is a great way to start.

With that being said, remember being somewhat of an iceberg is normal.  However, you don’t want to bury too much of yourself under water. Making the decision to expand how much you use your gifts in your work will bring a satisfaction you may have never known.  Go ahead, start draining the ocean.