don't be afraid to be yourself

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day, and at one point something occurred to me that I had never really thought about before: A lot of people these days are living in fear of expressing their true selves.

As I began discussing the implications of this idea, I struggled to articulate how I went from being someone who was afraid of the truth, to being someone who embraced it with open arms.

I knew there were many times in my past where I had been absolutely terrified of what would happen if people discovered the truth about who I really was or how I truly felt inside.

Then I thought about how four years ago -- around the same time I began my journey to lose weight and get my life in order -- something happened that changed the trajectory of my life forever...

I let go of my fears!

  • Fear of judgement
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of not fitting in
  • Fear of ridicule
  • Fear of death
  • Fear of being laughed at
  • Fear of abandonment

I knew that before I could move forward in my life, I was going to have to face the man in the mirror and accept who I was for better or for worse.

The first fear I tackled was the fear I had of being judged and/or made fun of. That was a relatively easy fear to overcome once I understood that some people are (and always will be) pricks, and that the only thing that truly matters was what I thought about myself.

Accepting that fact lead me to the profound conclusion that all of my fears existed only in MY MIND -- I was in control of them!

This simple idea was the key that ultimately freed me from my fears, and I finally began living a life filled with pure honesty and complete transparency. Unfortunately, when that happened, the world at large was not entirely eager to reciprocate...

What I discovered is that the majority of the people in our culture are living their lives just as I had been living before -- hiding from their fears and from the truth.

Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I have any clue as to what kind of junk you might personally be hiding from or have yet to deal with in your life. All I can tell you for sure is that when you do decide to finally own up to (and deal with) your problems, you will discover that they were not as big of a deal as you had previously made them out to be.

Whatever you are ashamed of, it will do you absolutely no good to bottle it up or pretend like it never happened. You are much better off accepting it as a part of your past that you are not particularly proud of -- and then move on.

When you do this you take away whatever power your junk might have held over you, and you can then be free to focus that power towards something beautiful, constructive and worthy of you.

I believe Dr. Seuss said it best...

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind."

Deep down, people crave authentic relationships. People want friendships that truly matter! So talk with a friend, talk to your spouse, or maybe just talk to someone you trust. It really doesn't matter who, but you need to talk to somebody. No matter how stupid or frightening it may seem, you have to let your junk out. When you do, I promise you will feel better.

Don't waste your life forever trying to live up to the expectations of other people. Instead learn to love, embrace and be who you are!

Peace and love,

Corey Barton