I've been blogging since about 2006, and for a majority of the time, I did so anonymously. It's funny actually... I felt far more comfortable with strangers reading my deepest thoughts on the internet than I did sharing them with family, friends, or my boyfriend at the time. In fact, the idea of someone I knew (like actually in real life knew) reading my words would send me into a straight up panic.
I wasn't writing anything embarrassing or controversial. I wasn't documenting my insane nightlife (because I didn't have one) or any crazy adventures that would get me disowned. Nope. I was simply sharing my deepest desires and thoughts... I was sharing myself. Fully, completely, unedited, and raw.
The blogosphere was a different place back then. Sure, there were jerks, but mostly there were amazing individuals doing the same thing. Chronicling their lives, adventures, hopes, dreams, successes, and failures for all the world to see. Close knit and supportive communities of like minded folks, simply showing up online and cheering each other on.
One day, somewhere between 2009 and 2010, I decided to start a blog under my name. My real name. But more importantly, I decided to continue sharing myself publicly and openly on the internet, under my own name.
It was the scariest thing I'd ever done.
I remember writing my first post and feeling sweaty and panicky for the rest of the week. I mean, what if someone I knew found it? What if that someone actually read it? You see, I spent most of my life aware of the fact that I simply don't fit into this world, and sharing who I really was and how I viewed the world was scary, hard, and isolating. At least, I assumed it would be.
Because I wasn't like other people, and for the most part, no one really "got" me. So I kept those parts of me tucked safely inside, within the pages of my journal, and hidden behind an anonymous moniker online.
It would be a handful more posts before I would work up the nerve to share one to my Facebook page... you know, where my family and friends were hanging out. And when I did, I immediately tried to bury it with other posts (because social media worked that way once, things didn't just continue to pop up). Mostly people didn't see them at first, because I not only buried them, I posted them at odd hours of the night. But then a funny thing happened.
Someone thanked me for sharing my views and my mind. For being me. For showing up honestly and truthfully.
So I leaned into it... I shared more and more of myself, not just on my blog, but in my life and relationships. I started allowing the parts of myself I'd kept tucked inside out into the world. I started challenging others opinions, sharing my views, and teaching others how to show up more fully in the process.
To this day, the one thing that brings me to almost instant tears is when a client or friend thanks me for being me. For finding the courage to put myself out there, following my passions, and showing up as fully and completely as I can. Because when we can do that for ourselves, we inspire everyone around us to do the same. We also begin connecting more deeply, attracting the right people into our lives, and really aligning ourselves with our truth and purpose.
We need you to be you.
We need you to put yourself out there, fully and completely.
We need you to express your opinions and express your truth to others.
We need your unique view of the world, and we need you to share it.
We need your art, expression, words, and contribution. Desperately.
We need you to stop hiding, and to open your heart to us.
We need you to be the total oddball that you are.
We need your gifts, talents, and unique voice.
We need you to be you. Please.
Because you're so truly amazing, and what you have to give to the world (whether that's your presence or something else) is something that we need. Life is way too short to hide. And I promise, one oddball to another, people will adore and appreciate you for who you are.
Because we're starved for truth, expression, vulnerability, and openness. We're starved for connection and authenticity. Transparency. Quirks. Depth.
So, thank you for being you.
Because you make the world a more magical place.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique and author of Awesome Life Tips book. Through her Mastery program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question!
For more by Stephenie Zamora, click here.