That title is easy to write but can be incredibly difficult to do. From a young age, we are encouraged to wear a variety of masks and labels so much so that the #1 regret of the dying is: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
And that’s exactly what it takes–courage. 3 years ago, I wrote a post called Be You, and it in I said, “the most courageous act you will ever commit is to simply be yourself.”
What I didn’t know at the time, is that throughout life you will continuously have an opportunity to keep or drop the masks and labels you carry. Different masks show up at various stages of your life. Some of them might be preprograming about who or what you need to be in your career, relationship, or as a parent.
One of the reasons I love being an entrepreneur is that you have 100% freedom to create your business any way you want. Of course, 100% freedom comes with 100% responsibility. And you have an opportunity to choose how you show up–to your clients, your colleagues, and to your team. You get to be you, if you choose to.
Hidden labels or masks about how we think we need to be, most often surface when we take on something new. The unfamiliar can be terrifying, especially when starting a business because it’s so personal. If the business fails, we fail, and those of us that carry around the “Type A/perfectionist” label really don’t like failing. The fear of failing can be so great, that most never start. Their dreams become one of the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, and they leave this world wondering, “what if?”
Someone asked me today what differentiated me and my business from all the other blogs and consulting offerings. It’s a valid question and one that I often discuss with my digital marketing clients. It’s also one of those questions that can be almost as painful as “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “Who are you?”
I responded with the truth: Six Months to Live is powerful because it reminds us that we all have a limited time on earth and that how we choose to spend every moment and day, makes up a lifetime. Do I have type A streak? Absolutely. I’ve embraced it. I think it makes me better in everything I do. But I don’t let it hold me back because on my deathbed, I want to confidently say, “I have no regrets.” I would rather have tried and failed any day than never known what could be.
The same is true for being true to myself. I’m not going to lie. It can be really hard. Not the being you part. That’s actually really easy because it’s who you are. What’s difficult is getting past the fear that if you are truly yourself, you will be accepted. I can tell you this though, with every layer you let go it’s a HUGE relief because all that energy you used trying so hard to fit something you’re not can go towards creating your dreams, loving yourself as you are, and being true to you.