Authenticity: plan A and plan B

Last night I went to the city theater to hear the Dutch comedian Daniel Arends talking about plan A and plan B. Plan A is who you are. You can grow in who you are, but you can’t really change it. Plan B is how you appear to others. You are authentic when you appear as who you are.

Often we want to appear different than who we are. Many musicians are shy but want to appear spontaneous and confident. They start to play the role of spontaneous and confident person on stage. When people love the appearance they see on stage, many musicians start to continue their behavior off stage. They start to convince themselves that they are actually a confident and spontaneous person. That’s what people love about them.

Plan B, the outside, becomes their center point. They’ve forced themselves to be someone that they are not. It’s very energy consuming, even if they might not notice in the beginning. They get the extra energy from the positive attention of the audience at every performance. They can’t hold on to plan B as the center of their person for a long time without that extra energy.

But what would happen if you would appear as who you really are? If you would share your shy side with the audience as well? If you would perform as an authentic person? I think that the audience would love you even more for it! It certainly gives you more energy; you don’t have to spend it on pretending!

If you want to enjoy your career as artist, you can better start it authentic anyway. There are too many examples of artists who forced themselves into a role that was not them anymore. They try to grow plan B, but there’s no place for plan A to grow. I see this when I look at the career of Amy Winehouse or Janet Joplin. The choice of Adele or Stromae to take a break in their career just when they reached the top, I can only admire!

A great way to keep in touch with who you are is meditation and yoga. I’ve neglected my practice lately. It’s time to pick it up again! What do you to keep in touch with who you are?


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