Be Authentic – Nina Hagen

Be Authentic - Nina Hagen

“Be Authentic – Nina Hagen” written by Bren Koger.

Nina Hagen

I recently saw a video clip of a woman named Nina Hagen who is apparently known as the queen of punk rock.

I can’t figure what I like more about this video, her lack of concern for how others perceive her, or her description of her singing voice as “MY INDIVIDUAL GOD IDENTITY.”

Although she’s not as talented, in my opinion, she reminds me of an 80’s version of Lady Gaga.

In  this excerpt form Tina Fey’s book “Bossy Pants,” Amy Poehler is channeling this same kind of energy…

Amy Poehler and SNL

“Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers’ room, waiting for the Wednesday night read-through to start. Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and “unladylike”,

Jimmy Fallon turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, ‘Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it.’

“Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. ‘I don’t fucking care if you like it.’ Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit.

“With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”

― Tina Fey, Bossypants

Be Authentic like Nina Hagen

Speaking your own truth and being yourself.

Trusting your own voice, no matter what.

Why is this SO rare?

Blame our ancestors.

Your Basic Instincts Work Against You

Human beings were a tribal society tens of thousands of years ago. Back then getting approval from the tribe meant survival.  So you’re still wired that way.

Your neurochemical health is dependent upon the approval and acceptance of your tribe. Without it, you will experience emotional discomfort designed to get you to stay in line.

What Do You Do If You Have This Working Against You?

Today you can use this to your advantage.

1) Choose your ‘tribe’.  Be selective about who is in your “inner circle.” Have a select support system that encourages you and supports you unconditionally. Ignore the rest.

2) Have a strong “why”

What are you ultimately aiming for?   And why?  Once you know who you really are and what matters to you, what other people think of you become significantly less important.

Why is This Important in Business?

Everyone has a unique message and contrary to what society may have taught you, you can increase success, in life and business, with authenticity because you will naturally appear more confident when you stand in the confidence of your uniqueness.

There was a study with more than 250 participants in a series of experiments to evaluate whether or not the participants appreciated authenticity.

For example, when they rated Lady Gaga’s artistic skill, participants saw a photo of her masked and crouched on the floor, dressed in all black,(eccentric) or looking a little more conventional, sitting in a chair with normal makeup and her hair pulled back.

They found the more authentic (and a little eccentricity helps us perceive it as more authentic) the better the perception of the quality of the work.

How to be more authentic in business

1) You can’t be all things to all people.

Avoid mediocrity. You don’t have to operate a cookie cutter business to be successful. In fact, learning how to practice authenticity can grow your business immensely. The important thing to remember is to build your business around your unique personality. And the people that resonate with you will be beating down your door.

2) Love your product. We see so many people in online marketing going from one product to another, chasing the next shiny object. Find or create something that resonates with you and fall in love with it. It will make you more confident and naturally authentic.

3) You must be willing to let go of audience members who don’t fit your brand.

“You cannot be all things to all people. Don’t be afraid to make people mad. Your honesty will inspire your true followers.” – Robert Kiyosaki

We can’t all be Nina Hagen, but you can be the most authentic YOU that you can be.


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