04/24/2014 09:48 pm ET Updated May 08, 2014

The Moment Dani Shapiro's Perspective Shifted Forever

Covering up our vulnerabilities, according to author and teacher Dani Shapiro, is a massive waste of energy.

When asked to be a guest on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, Shapiro found herself nervous and tense until a producer reminded her of a very simple truth. "Don't worry," the producer told her. "All you have to do is be yourself."

"Wow," Shapiro said she thought to herself, during her talk at Thrive, The Huffington Post's second Third Metric conference on redefining success beyond the first two metrics of money and power. "That sounds so simple, all I have to do is be myself!" But when we really think about it, being ourselves is far from simple, she said, and it's rare for us to completely shed our inhibitions.

It took a major shift in perspective for Shapiro to give herself permission to be authentic and true -- namely a car crash in which her father died and her mother was badly injured. "In my grief and shock, I was in some way reborn," she said. In that moment, she promised to spend the rest of her life trying to honor her father's memory.

We can all benefit from asking ourselves who we are and how we fully and completely become those people, she says. Watch the clip above to hear more from Shapiro about how she learned to drop her guard and be her authentic self.