Fearlessly Authentic

The words fearlessly authentic really resonated with me today. I keep asking people the question, "What is your best advice on how to just be yourself? We continually tell people, especially young people, just be yourself. But, we never teach them how.

In actuality, it's very simple. Be fearlessly authentic. That's it. It's not easy, but it is simple.

How do we break it down and apply it to our life? What does that look like and sound like and feel like? We are going to follow a succession of first steps to get to the bottom of this and overcome it, together.

The first step to being fearlessly authentic is to figure out how to get rid of your fear in the first place. We all have fear. It's natural.

The first step to getting rid of your fear is to realize what you are actually scared of and what that thing can do to you.

Are you afraid of what people will think? Are you afraid it will cost too much? Are you afraid you will be unlike the masses? Are you scared you will draw attention to yourself?

The first step to realizing what you are afraid of is to get real with yourself. Does attention scare you? Does being unusual or unique scare you? Does being first scare you? Do you get nervous thinking about what other people think about you?

The first step to getting real with yourself is to identify the why. Why do I want to be like someone else? Why do I want to look and act and be like anyone other than myself? Why do I feel like I would be better off being different than I am right now? Why do I think acting like someone else would serve me better than just being my best self?

I seriously hope you ask yourself all of these questions and answer them for yourself. If that is tough, let me help you just a bit. No one can do you better than you. You can't be happy for long pretending to be something or someone you are not. Then, there is the fact that while you are worrying about being like everyone else, most everyone is worrying about the same thing. In fact, they may actually be trying to be more like you.

"The only thing you have to fear is fear itself" is not just a cool quote. The more you are afraid, the more you will have to fear. Fear will cripple you, diminish your creativity, and hinder your ability to succeed.

Instead of asking, "Why? try asking yourself "Why not?" Replace it with a mindset shift of calm determination. How do you do that? With gratitude.

Be grateful for who you are, for what you have to offer, for what you have already accomplished, for what you know, and for all that you imagine you could know and be and do. If you are grateful for who you are, how could you continue to be afraid of being yourself?

Leave fear behind you. I promise you will not regret it. I can guarantee the first time you throw caution to the wind, and embark on a new adventure that is guided by you just being one hundred percent yourself, you will be greeted with the most amazing things. Doors will fly open for you personally and professionally.

I could give you so many examples. Twenty years ago I wanted a promotion in the company I was working for, and I thought the way to do that was to pursue a certain position. In other words, I thought I should make me fit the job. What I learned was, while I was just being myself, others saw my potential and had an even better promotion in mind.

Many times when I was single I thought this guy or that guy was okay. I saw their potential. However, I learned a long time ago you should never date potential. It is not your job to fix anyone, except yourself.

Therefore, I kept doing the things I love, like biking and kayaking. I kept just loving the life I had and living the life I loved and I ended up re-connecting with an old friend, after his marriage ended. We are so happy together. We share the same interests. We both have a strong love and desire to spend time with our grandchildren, our children, traveling, and doing outside activities. And I am one hundred and fifty percent myself. Why do I say one hundred and fifty? Because he even encourages me to rise above my potential and do more and be more every day. Like I said I could give you tons of examples.

Just do you. No one does it better. Many people are living their life trying to be like someone else because they are comparing themselves and determining they are coming up short. Some people may be trying to be like you. Take everything you have learned, all the great lessons life has given you and just be you, and then just try to improve and grow daily. When you know better you do better.

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