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sing loud and proud1. The Truth Hurts – And Hurts Worse Coming from Someone You Admire or Respect

Be willing to hear the truth, but guard yourself against brutality.
Accountability is admirable. Martyrdom sucks.

Some people believe it’s their duty to tell the truth at all costs.
“Man, those pants make your ass look huge” is not a helpful (or kind) truth.
“You take things so personally; try to lighten up and let it go” might be a useful piece of advice.

When tempted to speak the truth, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it really true or do I believe its true?
It is kind?
Is it necessary?

When hearing the truth:
Be open and listen with clarity.
Own what’s yours and commit to improvement, if necessary.
Remember, opinions are like bums, everyone has one. If your intuition says the ‘truth’ is skewed, recognize it as being based on someone else’s belief system and then find nicer people to play with.

And when the truth comes from someone you admire: remember it’s you that placed them on the pedestal. If they are really deserving of your respect and admiration, they will find a gentle way to share the truth with you with helpful intention.

2. There’s Always Going to be Someone Better – and Worse – Than You

What are we competing for? Attention? Public adoration? Business? If you’re a follower of the Law of Attraction – competition equals desperation. Desperation equals lack.

There is only one Martha Stewart. One Sir Richard Branson. One Ellen Degeneres. One Anthony Robbins. And there is only one you.

The world needs YOU to be authentic; to get crystal clear about who you are and what you bring to the buffet table; to hone your own skills and gifts in order to share the best You possible.

Social Media is the perfect example of competition and desperation. My friend Adrienne says, “The problem with Twitter is everybody is talking. If everybody is talking, who is listening?”

Remember that there will always be someone who knows more than you do now;
Whose skin is clearer and whose pants fit better;
Who has a bigger database
and better writing skills;
Who has made more money and been on more beaches…

But, there is also someone who has suffered more physical pain;
Lost more than one person who meant the world to them;
Spends their days picking beans in a sweltering, muddy field
And who doesn’t have enough money to feed their family.

3. Know Who You Are – and Don’t Change for Others

Want to drive yourself crazy? Continually change who you are and how you act in the hope that someone will finally love you.

Have you ever started a new relationship by being who you thought that person wanted you to be? How comfortable was it? How easy was it to maintain? What happened to the relationship?

It is extremely difficult to be someone you’re not.

People who know exactly who they are – are easy to like.
There is no faking.
No pretentiousness.
No twisting themselves into a pretzel so that EVERYBODY will like them.

Getting clear on who you are and what you do best is a great gift to your spirit.
It frees you from driving yourself nutty trying to figure out who other people expect you to be. They want you to be you. They love interesting, genuine and unique people.

And if they don’t, find your tribe.
It’s so much easier to be you.

4. Some People Will Judge You No Matter What

“That was horrendous.”
“Just who does she think she is?”
“Her work is okay, but it isn’t the best I’ve ever seen…”

Make peace with it. People have the need to pass judgement. It makes them feel superior. You may never measure up – even when you are doing your very best.

Not everybody loves Oprah.
Not everybody loves Barack.
Not everybody loves Miley Cyrus. Or the Osmonds. Or Elvis.
And not everybody will like you.

So what?

5. Sometimes Risk Pays Off & Sometimes it Doesn’t – But That’s How You Learn

No one ever grew into their full potential by staying comfortable.

Think outside the box. Take a chance.
Maybe you’ll get laughed at.
Maybe you’ll ‘fail.’ Maybe you won’t.
Maybe you’ll feel humiliated. You’ll get over it.
Maybe you’ll shine.

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd

6. Listening to What Everyone Else Says Will Only Confuse You

Remember when I wrote: ‘Opinions are like bums, everyone has one.’?
It applies here, too. This blog is just my opinion.

No one has THE SOLID GOLD answer. Not even me.
They have opinions.
Sometimes you’ll pay for it.
Most times readily absorb it without thinking.

You don’t have to listen to everyone else. You have to know yourself inside and out – what you believe and what grates against your soul, what your strengths are and how to protect yourself. And you need to get quiet enough to hear your heart’s desire.

As long as you believe that someone outside of you has the answer you need, you’ll search relentlessly and meet with disappointment. You’ll feel confused. Don’t give power to those who are quick to judge or offer their opinion. You are the only one who can make choices and change for you.

Yours is the only voice that matters when it comes to you.

7. Find your song and sing it – loud and proud.

Sure, there may be some that think your singing stinks – but someone else is gonna LOVE your voice and want to sing along.