The Moment

The moment you become embarrassed of who you are, you lose yourself. I changed my house, the way I dressed, the way I ate – for what? For nothing

– Reuben, Oceans 13

It took me 23 years to learn this lesson, and today I finally learned it in full. The minute you become ashamed of who you are, what you believe…you lose yourself. You lose everything. You start acting differently, you dress differently, you change what it is to be you down to your core. Never be embarrassed of who you are and what you represent.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about this really interesting concept. It is about what it takes to live happily in the world and with others around you. I spent, once again, 23 years of my life reacting to what other people want, what they think I should be, who I thought I should be for them…and then a very good friend of mine let me borrow some discs with an awesome lady talking about relationships with those around you…and it hit me like a sack of potatoes.


Instead of reacting to the world…let the world react to you.

Woah right? But what does this actually mean? This means that instead of morphing yourself into someone that you think everyone else will like (usually the immediate circle of people around you)…you just be yourself, be exactly who you are and don’t try to be someone you aren’t. The people who like that will come to you and those who don’t like the real you will leave.

Now, I know that this could be kind of rocky for some. I can hear it now, “But that means that many people are going to come and go!” True, things get shaky for a while… I went through this myself recently. But why spend time with people who don’t care about the real you? Just seems silly to me…but like I said, I lived this way for the longest time. Reacting to everyone else and neglecting the gifts you have been given. You were given these shoes to walk in, don’t try to hide what brand they are.

Vulnerability. Vulnerability is at the core of courage. The ability to say, “I am scared shitless, but I am going to battle through anyways.” I’ll give you a perfect example. On the mountain today at Sugar Bowl, I saw a sign that said “Double Black…Experts only.” I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I had been looking at these chutes for the last couple of days…enclosed by rock on both sides…there would be no more than a few feet of space on each side of me after I fully committed. I paused for a minute before even entering the roped off area…and started down the chute…and yes, I was pretty darn scared. I am an experienced snowboarder but still…down there? I had the option to back out…but I told myself, “Okay…you are scared…but do what you know how to do and you will be great.”

Hop, turn, whoosh. Perfect.

For the rest of my life I will be able to say I did that. I can carry these moments with me…the ones where I had more courage than fear. And that is where I want to get the people I work with. To realize that yes, it may be scary if people leave, if you have to call up people who you haven’t talked to in a while, if you have to face your deepest fears…but don’t worry…because I will show you the dark, but I will carry the lantern with you. Feed your faith and your fears will starve.

Evan Sanders



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  • Chrystal
    December 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I love this message! I’m really embracing this for myself as well. My “theme” for 2013 is flaws and all. I think once we accept ourselves, it is so easy to embrace and flanut it. Unapologetically.

  • Purnimodo
    December 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Absolutely beautiful post. “Feed your faith and your fears will starve” This is one of the most powerful lines I read this year. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Chanel Hason
    December 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Glad those discs opened so many doors and thoughts for you 🙂 ! I applied this aspect you spoke of in this post to my life when I first listened to these CD’s earlier this year. It’s really been amazing to surround myself more with the people who love me for ME. I limited the contact I had with friends who were negative, until ultimately I just don’t really interact with those people anymore. And you know what, I’m so happy (and lucky) to have a solid group of individuals that consistently put a smile on my face each and every day! Life is beautiful.

  • smile breathe and go slowly
    December 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Yes!!! Exactly what I have learned over the last few years and what I try to instill in my kids. Love yourself. Be yourself. People who like that will be drawn to you. Don’t try to impress anyone else or “make” them like you. They either will or they won’t. And both are ok!

  • sortaginger
    December 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Wow, this really hit home with me. Beautifully written. Thank you for this today.

  • microrrelatososhortstories
    December 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    “Let the world react to you”…I like this! Be myself and watch how the world reacts…it’s true, we don’t need to be liked by EVERYONE, but we do need to LIKE OURSELVES, thank you, happy holidays, Alexandra

  • mstouffer007
    December 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Perfect timing for your words. I was only able to read some of your blogs while in prison (being copied and sent to me) but now I can, and I got a lot from your words. Thank you.

  • Timothy Blane
    December 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I loved reading this, I’m struggling with a lot myself right now and this got me smiling ear to ear and might have given me the kick in the ass I need to start doing all the things I want to do but find myself backing away from.

  • Keizick
    December 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I nominated you for a HUG award! You’re blog is so inspirational and I want everyone to know it. Go here: and there will be an entry on the guidelines. Good luck and wonderful journey!

  • Julie Israel
    December 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    This is powerful stuff– and something I hope to embrace now and really make changes for myself in the next year. Cheers and thanks for passing this on 🙂

  • The Laughing Duck
    December 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Woah indeed.. haha loved that.

  • harulawordsthatserve
    December 27, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Vulnerability is at the core of courage…love that line, so true! Great post, thanks for sharing.

  • nradam
    December 27, 2012 at 3:53 am

    I loved the message, and i have felt the same numerous times in my life. As a particular example, i felt like i am being racially discriminated for over a month when i went out of my country (I am Indian) only to realize that it happened because of my own mindset. When your true value comes from within you, there is no way that anyone can make you feel bad about yourself. You are awesome and you know it ! With the new mindset and chocolate skin color, i felt star-like in the nightclubs 😉

    PS: You are the first person to follow my blog haha, but i just want to let you know that i have changed my domain ( The old blog will be deleted soon.

  • lisalday111711
    December 27, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I am going through some tough changes and lessons and evolution as we speak that has been really tough for me…..I am having to start over but I haven’t felt this good in a long time….I am scared shitless….don’t get me wrong …but with each day it becomes a little clearer and little easier and its not moving that lets you know who your true friends are but changing to the real you that lets you know. I am blessed to have so many around me that care and are cheering me on. I even dedicated a song abut this on by Alicia Keys.

    This was written at a great time for me…..I am paying attention to the signs and you just got my day started off on a another one….thank you

  • Ness
    December 27, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Vulnerability is the only way to be TRULY individual. It does not hide the real us, and it takes a lot of guts to BE in that state and not wear a mask.

    Most people – fear that state.

  • My Unreachable Thoughts.
    December 27, 2012 at 6:42 am

    That’s exactly how I’m feeling right now, I always do what people expect me to.I’ve managed to hide the real me for almost 3 years now that no matter how hard I try today to be me again I always fail and it has become one of my biggest fears ever.I’ve lost so many people who loved me for who I was, and now I’ve become a lonely person but I’m sill fighting to get over my fears hoping that one day I’ll be able to show everyone the real me again. THANK YOU! (: xx .

  • anadventurersdream
    December 27, 2012 at 7:14 am

    This is so inspirational. It really is the best to accept yourself for who you are. Don’t change for anybody, because if they don’t like you for being you then they don’t really deserve your friendship. And I like what you said, “Instead of reacting to the world…let the world react to you.” That really emphasizes the individuality of people. 🙂

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  • jsresults
    December 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Instead of reacting to the world…let the world react to you.

    Boom! perfect. I love this. You make the impact on the world, not the other way around. Such a good message

  • libertyofthinking
    December 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Yeap, Yeap, Yeap… It looks like some sort of “New (R)age” is dawning, masksless, all out against fakeness…
    Oh, how did I find myself in every thought of yours (hmm, except the snowboard:-)), being soooo glad it’s not just me alone looking forward to finally being myself, not the continuously failing epigon of someone else’s expectations! I enjoyed reading you, and will be following.

    All the best!

  • hiraroomi
    December 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I totally agree with you, never live our life for others, it’s “your” life. Don’t pay attention to what others will think, pay attention to what you want and like

  • blueskies16
    December 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Soaring New Skies.

  • haleyjcraven1005
    December 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I loved this! I mean all your posts are great but this one especially hit home with me.
    I am 22 and recently graduated college, moved back home to my parents’ house, and I have really been working on what I want out of life and who I want to be and I really needed to read this.
    Thank you 🙂

  • alyson
    December 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Amazing post! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. It has taken me 20+ years to learn this lesson as well. It was a difficult road, but am glad to say I am now “seeing” the light too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Trevor Nagle, ABD
    December 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Leadership Musings of a Skeptical Positivist and commented:
    “Instead of reacting to the world…let the world react to you”…..what a fantastic message! So ask yourself as the year ends…..On which path are you currently traveling?

  • remoteuncontrolled
    December 29, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Love this post. Once you identify fear as being nothing more than an imaginary roadblock conjured within the human mind, it tends to lose its power over you. They don’t sell confidence at Wal-Mart; it comes from within. 😀

  • Posy
    December 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Dang it! You made me tear up and on my wedding anniversary of all days! Haha. 3 1/2 years ago I decided to be who I really was despite my job, my in-laws expectations, my fear of what people would think, and started writing and living and doing something I hoped would change one or two or ten minds about what they automatically carried around in their back pockets as “norms” or “truths” that were handed down to them by their families. All I want people to do is pull out those assumptions and look at them from time to time and question whether or not they really belong there. I’m glad to see you started doing this already and so wonderfully. Kudos to you!

    • ramblingsofabipolarwoman
      January 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      I like the visual about what we carry around in our back pockets as norms or truths, very nice. That made me think too. I hope your wedding anniversary was amazing!

  • heyeasya
    December 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    But what if the people around you are the people you care about? I went through the exact same thing years ago, and am very fortunate to say I got out of it safely. But now, I am going through another dilemma same as this and I was too young before to remember clearly how I dealt with this matter. What if the people you’re bound to lose are the people you care about? Is it worth it to try and change yourself instead of keeping yourself from losing them? Please, I need your advice. Thank you!

  • Ana Phylaxis
    December 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    So, so, so dig this post. My 2013 is going to be all about me. That may come across as self-centered (and it’s not easy for me to write “all about me”) but I am so tired of negotiating and compromising myself …. you wake up one day, look in the mirror and realize you have no idea who the person is staring back at you. Love, love, love this post!

    And kudos to you for going down the chute! That’s exactly how I felt in September when I jumped out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. Scared shitless, but it was one of THE most amazing experiences of my life — and I can’t wait to do it again!

  • itsxyenttirb
    December 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Reblogged this on itsxyenttirb.

  • r00tb
    January 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    It is so much better to be surrounded by people who genuinely like you, because of you and not the person you’re pretending to be. Great message and thank you for reminding me of it. 🙂

  • ramblingsofabipolarwoman
    January 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    “Don’t react to the world, let the world react to you.” and “You were given these shoes to walk in, don’t hide what brand they are.” I love it, those are the two lines that stuck with me the most. It is true that we are who we are and we should embrace that, not hide from it.