Several years ago, I had a huge fear. It haunted me, it limited me, and it caused me to shrink. I was afraid of…..success. I know its bananas, but I was. And at the time I felt justified in my fear. It was easier for me to live as a copy than to live authentically, exposing my hurt, wounds, failures and mistakes as an original.
Don’t Let Role Models Kill Authentic Living
With the recent controversy over Melania Trump’s too accurate to be a coincidence replica of Mrs. Obama’s 2008 speech. I began thinking about how easy it is for us to live as a copy of those we admire. Looking too closely at someone else’s life can cause you to practice their behaviors in your own. Before you know it, you don’t look like you. You look like a cheap version of them. Please don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to admire, and look up to people. But not to the point that you cease to live authentically, as who you really are.
To live authentically and with purpose is not easy
Maximizing your potential comes at a cost. You are constantly being stretched while at the same time being exposed. Exposed to who you are versus who you were created to be. A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Steve Perry on the Prudential stage at the #EssenceFestival. It was ahhhhmazing. But he said something that hit home….well he said a lot of things that hit home. But one of his comments reminded me of how far I have come, and why I must continue to live an authentic life of purpose. He said: “We have to help our children understand that they don’t have to pretend not to be smart.”
I did that as a kid. I went to Sherman Oaks Elementary, but when I went to play with my cousins in South Central, I pretended to be something I wasn’t. I was ashamed of being a straight-A’s-student and in the top 10% of my class. I didn’t realize that being smart didn’t make me less fun or funny. I was still the same girl, but I chose not to live authentically, not to shine as bright as I could have living in the shadow of fear.
I don’t know the truth behind Mrs. Trump’s speech. I really don’t care to know. But what I do know is, she will never live down a moment when she did not rise to her full potential. At a time when it was critical for the world to get to know her, she chose to shrink and give us a cheap version of the already amazing Michelle Obama.
It happens to the best of us. The Great Girlfriends hosted a podcast about it. I witnessed a panel of women that shared moments of shrinking due to fear and other struggles at The WEALTH Experience. So, it happens….but it does have to happen again. And it does not have to happen to you.
You were created for and with purpose
Your journey on this path is not by coincidence. Be you boldly, knowing that it’s an injustice to the world for you to be anyone else. So I’m commissioning you. I’m commissioning you to live your life as authentic and full as possible. Knowing that you have something to contribute. Choose three things that you will do within the next 24 hours that will help you peel back the layers of fear. To live free. To live authentically.
Please post those three things in the comments section, and share this blog post with your circle of friends. Thanks in advance!