“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, “A Return to Love”

What do those mean to you? After reading them do you feel empowered? Do you feel guilty? Do you feel as if you can begin to live liberated in order to liberate others? Regardless of what you gleaned from that quote, here are a few vantage points of how your being your own awesome self can change your world and the worlds of those around you.

1. Authenticity builds confidence.

Have you ever tried to walk in shoes that are too small or that belonged to someone else before you? Your focus is on the pain in your feet and your authenticity takes a backseat to that discomfort. However, when you’re wearing shoes designed to mold to your foot, you find yourself walking taller, throwing your shoulders back and holding your head high. Regardless of your gender, you know wearing stylin’ shoes which fit makes you feel better about yourself and puts a spring in your step. Let that confidence carry you through the whole day–and the whole day after that.2Wherever you go, there you are.

2.  You can’t escape You.

Let’s face it: you can’t even go to the bathroom without you tagging along, so making peace with your authentic self can make every experience on this path of life much more interesting and entertaining. When you’re at peace with yourself, you’re more open to being present, which means you’ll notice and enjoy the intricacies of the “small stuff.”

3. Like you and others will too.

People can always tell when others are being fake. Not necessarily fake in the negative sense, but fake in general. Maybe you’re unhappy, overly happy, always the victim, or maybe just not living up to your true potential. When you’re in tune with you, you automatically–yet non-verbally–give those around you permission to get to know and like the real you as well.

4. Playing large attracts authenticity.

Like the quote says, your playing small does you or anyone around you absolutely no good. Your being yourself for the sake of being yourself will attract more authentic people into your life and create a network of supportive, uplifting and even fun folks you can genuinely call friends.

5. Being authentically you allows you to breathe easier.

Hiding and pretending can be emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting. The more you allow your essence to mature, the less stress will be in your life and the more relaxed you’ll be in every area of your life.

6. Less stress makes you more productive.

You know it’s true. When you’re not stressed out and can focus on what’s going on in front of you rather than trying to live as who you aren’t, your productivity in your work, your play and your life in general will skyrocket.

7. Everyone else is already taken.

You have been wonderfully made, and no matter what’s happened in your life up to this point you have a purpose that no one who’s ever lived or will live can possibly fulfill. You were born to shine. Hiding your brilliant light from yourself and the rest of the world is an injustice to those of us who need what you have to offer. If you’re still struggling with being yourself for yourself, will you at least consider doing it for me? If not for me, find someone close to you who you know 100% needs you and your whole self and do it for them. We–those of us in this world–need YOUR light!!

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” ~Dr. Seuss