At the start of any journey, I hated when people would tell me to be myself. Like, I don't even know what I'm doing. How am I supposed to be myself doing it?
Oftentimes I find that it's not that people don't want to be authentic; they're just not really sure how to go about doing that.
We don't talk much about the awkward stages of showing up as us in the beginning...
"I hate the sound of my own voice."
"I feel out of place on camera."
"My writing doesn't seem captivating."
"This seems weird."
Awkwardness is not an indication that you're doing something "wrong". It's just unfamiliar.
Photography // Ali Folster
Here's my take on what can help...
Take Time To Learn
Learn the basics of your field. Learn them until they become second nature to you.
Spend Time Studying
Study resources and experts of your field. "Keeping your eyes on your lane" doesn't mean you don't learn from those that came before you... that's wisdom. Find books, podcasts, articles, leaders in your space, and study them.
Put It Into Practice
Now take all that you've learned and studied and practice. Like really practice. Once you've built a foundation from learning what has already been done, start infusing your own spin on it.
Rinse And Repeat
Find your rhythm and continue to tweak until you become satisfied with your work. Then continue being consistent with that. The confidence will come.
In the process, some of what you learn from others you'll keep, some of it you'll throw away. But eventually, it will become your own.
Please remember, if you remain dedicated and consistent to your craft, someone, someday, will be looking to you as the expert. Believe it.