Who are you? Is who you decide to become, how you decide to act, what goals and dreams you decide to pursue influenced by what other people think of you? Do you try to get people to like you by being who and what they want you to be? Do you eat or drink because others pressure you to eat or drink? Do you choose to not start a business because of what you are afraid others will say about you? Do you stop short of asking for the sale because you are afraid you will alienate people you know?

At some point in our lives, all of us have tried to behave a certain way or do certain things to get others to love and accept us. But if they are loving and accepting us because we are being who they want us to be, then are we really being our authentic self? And are we truly happy pretending to be someone we aren’t?

I spent a lot of years hoping that if I molded myself into my family’s, friend’s or love one’s image of who they thought I should be that I would be happy. Turns out that only made me feel worse.  I could never quite measure up to how they thought I should or shouldn’t behave. I am never going to have a burning desire to keep an immaculately clean house. I don’t enjoy gardening. I didn’t get the “S” gene for shopping and I don’t miss it. I do not consider shopping for clothes, makeup or jewelry and good time. I would rather go sailing.

I finally realized, I couldn’t truly be happy until I could love and accept myself for who I am authentically. I found happiness when I quit trying to control what other’s thought of me. When I finally realized that what other’s thought of me was none of my business, I found love and acceptance of myself.

My family couldn’t understand why starting the 501c3 Nonprofit, Childhood Saved, was important. They don’t understand why I don’t just work a 9-5 job. All of that is ok. The moment I chose to be my authentic self, I could love myself and my family unconditionally. When I accepted myself for who I truly am, I stopped noticing what other’s thought of me.  I was then able to love my family unconditionally. The push and pull between me and my family disappeared. It’s ok that they like to go shopping and I like to go sailing. Oh look, I did get the “S” gene after all.  “S” for sailing.

When you can choose to be true to who you authentically are, you will find you will attract the people that will support you. When you choose to be your authentic self, the doubters and haters will cease to matter. The significance that their opinion held in your life will drop away. What will stick with you and become your driving force is your own authentic spark and purpose.

So, follow your passion and remember what other’s think of you is none of your business. What they think is not a reflection on you, it is a reflection on them. So, go live your dream!

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