What are you stealing from others by not being yourself?

“Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself.”

Honore de Balzac

How comfortable are you in your skin? Are you living your own real and authentic life? How much time and energy do you spend “playing a role” instead of being the person you were born to be? Do you even know who it is you were created to be?

Answering these questions is hard. Being brutally honest with yourself is challenging beyond belief. It can be much easier to “go with the flow” and be the person others expect you to be, but what is the cost of doing this? What are you giving up? If you aren’t at ease in your skin, how do you expect anyone else to be at ease?

Perhaps another way to think of this is to consider what you are stealing from others by not being your true and authentic self. If that doesn’t make you ill at ease, I don’t know what will…

Take off the brakes…

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

Bill Gates

What is empowerment? The technical definition from dictionary.com is below and the word that stands out most to me is “enable.” When you think about the role of leadership it is to enable those whom you serve to perform and achieve their goals and objectives. Those who aren’t enabled haven’t been given the authority or power to make decisions.

Leadership without empowerment is simply a dictatorship. It breeds a culture of complacency and indecision. In today’s world life is moving to fast to have an artificial brake on decision making. Empowerment is the key to removing the brakes on effective leadership…

It’s a gift, give it…

“If you aren’t gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all.”

Johnny Cash

There is such incredible value in having the awareness to understand what you feel and why, AND the courage to communicate it to others in a way that serves to enhance the relationship, not shut it down.

To know something, and bottle it up, might rob those around you of incredible insight and knowledge. It might diminish your standing and ability to get really important things done.

Having something to say, and not saying it, is like getting someone a gift and not giving it…

Live authentically…

“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today I am building on the post from yesterday and writing about the 2nd of my 3 words for 2020 is “Authenticity. I love this quote for a lot of reasons but very specifically for the last line. “Be the best of whatever you are.” This is definitely “authenticity!”

The dictionary.com definition of “authenticity” that best aligns with how I am using this word in 2020 is, “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.”

Rev. Martin Luther King certainly embodied this principle in his life and because of this he embraced God’s unique and special gifts and talents and used those to change the world. We all owe him an eternal debt for his willingness to embrace his true and authentic self, which ultimately cost him his life.

Now I am not saying that I want to change the world in the manner of Rev. King nor am I comparing myself to him in any way. However, I do want to emulate his example and fully embrace the gifts that God has blessed me with and live outwardly in a manner that is true to myself and what I believe and hold true as a core principles.

Certainly we all want to live in this way so why is this a focus word for me in 2020? I have found in life that without dedicated attention and focus to truly being the person that you discern yourself to be, then it is way too easy to get pulled away from your true self and caught in a vortex of living an inauthentic life that just won’t let you go.

Settling for a life like this is choosing to settle. It is choosing to be less than the person that God created you to be. It is choosing to live a life of less, not more. It is choosing to set yourself up for a life of regret and second-guessing. I can’t think of a less authentic way to live…

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