The world is always telling us to just be who we are because we'll be happier (hello, like we didn't know) and in the same breath, it says wait, not like that!
You and I both know that just be yourself is solid advice, true, and there really is no replacement for authenticity. None.
I mean, once upon a time, you were, quite literally, without waiting on permission or giving an apology for it, fully yourself. No, I don't mean full of arrogance and bragging type full-of-yourself, I mean you were an overflowing cup of nappy filled authenticity.
Of course you know (this really doesn't need saying, but anyway) you will live a happier, more meaningful, richer and rewarding life if you: believe in yourself (your talents and gifts), understand and know what you're 'supposed' to be doing with your time on this planet (and doing it), be true to yourself and your core values, without question, believe that you have the power to shape the life you want, have a plan and purpose, have people around us you who support your ideas and offer the right support.
We both know that. Intuitively we know.
So what stops us? Why do we place the need to be liked and fit in over being true to ourselves and leading our lives from our values? Why do we silence our talents and gifts? Why do some people feel that the possibilities and promises of their dreams, hopes, goals and wishes simply vanish with their youth? Why does life look like a constant struggle and missing goals? Why do we always feel conflicted in our decisions and choices? Why is it so hard to be the person you know you are in the space you inhabit in the world?
I have a theory. A couple of them.
First, because by the time we notice anything is 'wrong', we feel so far dragged away from the core of who we are, aimless and without a plan to find our way back, with the pain of not knowing what to do first and how to change things is so hurtful we may not even begin.
Second, because it takes courage to be who you are - in all areas of your life. It takes bravery to get in the driving seat of your own destiny. It takes confidence and clarity to explore and head off in the direction of what will bring purpose and meaning to your life. It takes a lot to remain true to yourself and make a contribution.
The art of being yourself
Is it an art? I think so. It's an ongoing piece of work. It will keep us busy a lifetime.
The art of being the most authentic version of yourself begins and ends with you.
It all happens from the inside out.
You've got to be willing to plunge yourself into your life, take a long hard honest look at it and then decide who you are bringing out.
You've probably been on the verge of returning to who you really are for years.
And the journey - if you take it - may be uncomfortable, of that I have no doubt. You may want to give up. You may wish at times you had kept playing at it,: buy the next book and attend the next workshop but never do the work.
You may have to ask yourself to take leaps that you have been avoiding for years. You will be asked to remove your resistance and you will be required to move forwards even if you aren't guaranteed of the outcome you want at the start.
You'll have to swap what others think with doing what's right for you.
You'll have to give up your addictions: the people pleasing, the need for being liked and loved by everybody, the desire to seek out approval from others.
You'll be required to show up for your life, to be a presence, have a voice, share your work.
You'll be asked to become your own role model, to stop looking outside yourself for your answers and be done with the need to compare and compete.
You will need to begin on the inside, to step into your courage and confidence, to build a strong foundation of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
You'll be required to make decisions about your life and to accept that you do have genius, talent, skills and unique gifts.
You'll be required to own who you are, to claim your place in the world, to understand that what you do has an impact, it always has an impact.
Why does it all matter?
Aside: I know this is our first coffee date so to speak but I'm really going to go for it because it's that important even if what I'm saying makes you squirm slightly.
Because being your most authentic self is the most courageous thing you can do in your life, and the most loving.
You were born remarkable. You remain so. You arrived confident, courageous, curious, brave, happy, joy, fearless, loved and magnificent. You still are.
Inside you are magnificence and greatness. You have genius within you. You do. I don't care if no one has told you before and it feels a little odd coming from a stranger. You have unique skills, talents, gifts and offerings for the world that you and only you can share in your own unique authentic way.
I have no idea what your genius is. I have no idea what you want to share, to lead, to give, to offer, to create, to inspire.
Just imagine if you, me, and the other 8 billion+ people we live and share our home with, made the decision that from now our one true and only purpose in life was to be who we really are - what would our individual lives look like - our careers, life, relationships, connections, community, environment, parenting - how would that decision ripple out and impact the world?
What if we stopped stalling and holding ourselves and our ideas back? That no matter the end outcome - whether the idea worked or not - we would put to use our full creative potential and no longer worry about what others have to say and think about our core intentions?
What could happen if we really accepted love, compassion, and kindness for ourselves? Just think what could be created if we stopped doubting our talents, skills, and gifts, and we shared them not only to teach but also to deeper our experience.
What would the world look like if we realised that we all have faced adversity? What if we made it our one true goal to remind one another that we are in this together. That we all have the right to express who we are, live by our core and live intentionally.
What are you called to create/lead/make/be/do? (And what do you need? What are you seeking help with?)
I understand, from personal experience, the struggles and challenges to remain in alignment with who you really are. Often in my own life I have veered off-course - not only because of a lack of courage and confidence when life has required it most, but also overcoming limiting beliefs and crippling self-doubt. This work, this website, where you are right now reading has been the biggest challenge of all.
Daily (hourly), I ask myself to make decisions that are a true reflection of who I am (not fear, not out of what others might think, not what the status quo is) - the result is Living Moxie, built on the foundation of values, person-centred approach that doesn't take you to the end, but offers you a place to ask your own questions and search yourself for your own answers. I just provide the space.
My online workshops and courses help individuals to reclaim their courage and confidence, identify what they really want out of their life, help people discover and start to do the work they love to do, and bring people together to help with their goals.
My coaching is to help people discover who they are and what they stand for so they can create a plan to bringing more of themselves to their experience here.
If this is your first visit, you are very welcome here. Please take a look around.
I'm delighted you're here.
Oh, I almost forgot, why moxie?
Ah. Good question. I'm pleased you asked because between you and me, a lot of people give me a weird look and ask, 'Eh? What. Say it again Dawn? Muxie? Morxie? Mixie-what? Oh, Moxie!'
When I heard it for the first time I whacked my knee on the corner of the desk to type into Google 'What does Moxie mean?' I got returned:
Moxie noun ˈmisɒksi': courage, confidence, bravery, boldness, spirit, fearlessness, determination, nerve, resilience ... in the face of adversity.
Moxie is a metaphor for all the shenanigans we get up to round here.
I believe it takes whack load of moxie to be who we really are in the world.
If you want to know more about the people who stay here a while, click here, you might recognise yourself in a few places.