Who are you really, and what were you before?
—Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick Blaine in Casablanca
If only we all could intuit, as part of our societal survival instincts, without first reinventing the wheel of failure and heartbreak—that trying to be someone else doesn’t work.
Well, it might, for a while. But it won’t last, unless it’s actually a more amplified version of an aspect of yourself that you are willing to nurture.
In the leadership book Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, you-the-reader—a leader or an aspiring leader—are challenged to identify personal differences that could form the basis of your leadership capability, and which personal weaknesses you reveal to those you are leading. This is the self-awareness phase, a first step toward being “yourself—more—with skill” in the journey toward authentic leadership.
Then there’s the required social awareness, the situation sensing, and the need to “conform enough.” You need to meet people within reach of relatability.
Playing the game (badly) without my “game face”
Recently, I’ve been having some trouble keeping external stresses from internalizing, and keeping internal messes from manifesting externally. There’s been a leak between my mental compartments, both rational and emotional, and it’s all been blurring together. As a result, the filter between what I hear and what I think, as well as the one between what I think and what I say, has been needing replacing. (So did the water filter in my fridge, but that was much easier.)
In short, I’d forgotten my “game face.”
Without it, some aspect of my self was being amplified, but I and everyone around me were being deprived of my best self.
What has any of this got to do with perfume?!
Not a whole lot, by any strict measure.
However, perfume is a good olfactory metaphor for an aspect of yourself that you want to amplify. You could have a scent for each occasion, or an all-encompassing signature scent that’s “you.” Either way, a few spritzes can elevate your (self-)image to you plus.
Conversely, when the internal dialogue slips into bad habits and goes awry, you can use perfume as a sensory cue to remind yourself of what you want—more of—in yourself.