It’s funny how long it took me to be comfortable with being myself. For the longest time I tried to be someone who I thought other people would like. But, you learn over time that you are sacrificing everything that is special about you. You were given certain gifts, and most of the time when you try to constantly please other people, these gifts deteriorate. So instead of  trying to look good all the time, or move away from looking bad, I just started acting authentically me. I learned the fastest way what I was good at and what I was bad at. But problems identified are things that can be fixed and worked on.

Find out what your style is…and go ahead and be that way. Authenticity is something that you can see in someone right off the bat. You can also tell as clear as day when someone is faking it. I have always been pretty perceptive about the people and events happening around me, and actually think that this has helped an incredible amount during this project. But I pose the question to myself a lot. “What is the point of living this life if you are too afraid to be you.”

When you were a kid, you were just you. That was it. Laughing crying screaming yelling giggling…chasing girls around the playground. That was just you. There were no outside pressures to be something that you weren’t. I think it happened to me right around second grade where I started actually being conscious of the feelings of pressure to do and be something else. Till this day I still recognize that societal pressure…however give no value to it. I will not be something that goes against everything I believe in. In fact, no matter how hard it will be, I will go against the grain. It has been difficult so far, but it has also been worth it.

Last month, I took my dad up to Donner Peak for his 60th birthday. It was thousands of feet straight up and brutal rocks to climb, but we made it…and it was an incredible feeling to be up there with him. It is something that I will never forget. We were driving around Tahoe today and looked up at that snow-covered mountain, and he started talking about how painful it was to get up to that peak…and if I had asked him the next weekend to do it again he would have said forget it…but once the pain subsided…now all he thinks about is how fun it was, how great of an accomplishment it was, and how he would do it again in a heartbeat. What did I learn from this? This is exactly how life is. We see a huge mountain in front of us, and struggle and struggle up it…and as soon as we get to the top…all of the pain is forgotten. So in my view, set huge goals…because when you achieve them, you will be incredibly happy.

If your goals don’t scare the shit out of you, then they aren’t big enough.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project