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The Power of Authenticity: Nobody Can Beat You at Being You

Updated: May 1, 2023

As I stood there on the stage, staring out at the sea of faces before me, my heart raced with fear and self-doubt.

This was it.

The moment I had been dreading for weeks.

The moment when I would have to face my fears and speak to a group of strangers about something that was deeply personal to me.

But let me backtrack a little.

Six months earlier, a close friend of mine had asked me to speak at an event he was hosting called Growth Talks.

The idea behind the event was simple:

One person would talk about a topic they were passionate about, and the group would learn from their insights and experiences.

When he first asked me, I was thrilled.

I am a Mental Health Occupational Therapist.

I help people with chronic illnesses engage back into the community and live meaningful lives.

Talking to people and helping them was what I loved doing.

But as the event approached, I began to feel a creeping sense of dread.

That feeling came to a head two weeks before the event.

I lay in bed, my mind racing with thoughts like "You're not good enough," and "Who would want to listen to you talk?"

I had a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was crippling me and it wouldn't go away.

I told myself that night that I wasn't going to go through with it.

But then, a week later, as I was driving home from work, that same sickening feeling returned.

I asked myself: “Why do I feel like this still, even after I said I wasn’t going to go through with it?”

It was then that I realized something:

I was denying the parts of myself that were truly authentic.

I love helping people and making a difference in their lives. It's what I was born to do.

Denying or hiding that part of myself was denying who I really was.

I knew that those feelings would never go away if I continued to live a life hiding from my true self.

So, I went through with the speech, ironically about how to be your most authentic self.

As I spoke, I could feel the audience's eyes on me, and my voice shook with nerves.

But I pushed through, determined to share my message with the world.

And when I finished, something amazing happened...

Many people came up to me telling me how moved they were by what I had to say.

They shared that I wasn't alone in how I felt and that they also struggled with what I was going through.

That I inspired them to also become their most authentic selves.

I remember feeling so full of gratitude. That I was able to help influence and change the trajectory of someone's life for the better.

It ignited a flame inside me to continue helping others and to spread my message to those who needed to hear it.

The lesson from that experience was clear to me:

We have to be true to who we are, even if it's scary or uncomfortable. The world needs our authentic selves, and we can only make a difference if we embrace that truth.

Why should you care?

Because denying our true selves is denying our potential.

We all have unique gifts to offer the world.

And when we deny those gifts, we deny ourselves and those around us the opportunity to live our best lives.

Being authentic is the new superpower.

Nobody can beat you at being you.

Embracing our authentic selves, despite fear and self-doubt, is the key to unlocking our true potential and making a positive impact on the world.

Speak with you next week.

~Stefan Barbas

P.S When you’re ready:

Check out the Life By Design Program:

The complete playbook of how to - Live your Purpose, Actualise your Potential & Create a Life by Design.


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