December 12, 2010

(Adapted from a post on my personal blog which I am integrating with Twisting Road.)

I started my Steve’s Not Nice blog when I had started to blog, write, and post a lot about coaching, positive counseling, and growth. All the hope, optimism, and “can do” energy of personal development roused my shadow monster, that grouchy cynic.

I didn’t want to give the accidental impression that I’m all goodness and light. Hell, I didn’t even want to be thought of as goodness and light. Yich!

When people call me “nice” my first reaction is to fear I have misled them – terribly.

My second reaction is to get irritated. If I were really “nice,” then the interest and helpfulness they were seeing would be easy. It would be automatic, involuntary, etched in my DNA, or trained into me from birth. Pleasantness from one of those “nice” people is no big deal. Caring and connection from a natural skeptic with a slow-to-warm-up cautious temperament is something to celebrate.

Those moments of humanity are hard work! I want some credit.

I started Steve’s Not Nice to be sure people didn’t accidentally think that I’m “nice” and made of all goodness and light. I wanted a place to show the rounded-out nature of the rest of me, irritable and cranky and critical and cynical. I wanted a place to showcase my other thoughts and ideas, to make sure I didn’t give an unbalanced, skewed view of myself. But I was afraid to let out too much of the ogre. I thought that would skew your impression of me too far the other way. I held back. My posts were still tame enough that no one could tell how much of a bastard I am at times.

I quit posting on Steve’s Not Nice for a long time, because I had no clear direction about the theme or purpose for the blog. I finally decided to make it a personal blog. All the other writing I did was directly related to my worklife, to building my new business and learning and teaching about personal development.

I think ultimately that’s why I felt what I presented was incomplete. To balance my professional self, to balance the part of my self focused on growth and development, to balance the optimistic and encouraging sides of my personality (I do believe in hope! I do! I do! I do!) I needed a place for my not-professional self. Less structured, less focused, less thematic. Less nice. This will be that place.

When clients or potential clients come here, they’ll find I’m a real person. I think ultimately that will help them be more certain about working with me, if that’s what they choose. For others it will help them decide to look elsewhere. But that’s one thing I want. I want to work with people who are compatible with me. I don’t want to have to maintain an unreal façade.

I will handle my responsibilities professionally, but as a coach and mentor one of my responsibilities is to be authentic. Authentic is grimy sometimes. Authentic is dusty. Authentic is organic and messy. Authentic is truth. And authentic is living aligned with your beliefs, talents, and passions.

I hope I can get there some day.

To Authentic Living and Right Livelihood


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