I was once asked (on the spot in front of a pretty big group of people): what is your best career advice?
It’s not often I’m caught off guard with a question that’s so in my realm. So part of my MO. And so totally a question I should be able to hit out of the ball park (not to mention I’ve probably been asked this a million times). But the energy behind her question….the authentic yearning to hear my answer…made me pause to think about what that truth really is for me. What is my best piece of advice for anyone building their dreams? Or anyone trying to take one step closer to where they want to be?
I did something I don’t normally do when a large group of eyeballs are staring at me: I paused. Said nothing instead of saying something. And really thought about what answer was coming up from the soul-deep parts of me.
Work every damn day to be the highest possible expression of yourself. Because when you’re wildly you, you’ll attract all of the right people and opportunities onto your path in ways that didn’t previously seem possible.
Anyone who’s searched for me on Google knows that in the early years of my career and in my life, I was doing anything but me. I was worried about being as blonde, skinny, cool, and well dressed as my fellow Dallas social circles. I was trying to have a job that seemed worthy, even though my gut was telling me this is so not it. This went on for years… slowly I began peeling back the layers of who I was trying to be, to get at who I really was. While that refining process never ends, some layers are thicker than others, and these were the thick of thick in my early 20s. I had to undo the shoulds, the approval, the ego, the pressure, the pleasing, the confusion, etc etc etc times a million etc.
But something happened when I realized no perfect job, body, presence, style would make me happy. It all clicked. Being really, wildly me, makes me so happy. Loving me makes me even happier. And when I’m being that woman, the Maxie that was 7 years old dancing naked in front of her neighbor friends in the window cuz she just didn’t give a fuck woman, I felt different, and what was showing up in my life felt different.
Starting that process called more and more and more amazing opportunities into my life. It attracted more and more mind-blowing people into my life. I was vibin’ and those vibes aligned stars that changed my life. Self-expressed vibes that continue to change my life. That create a is this really my world and my people pinch me moment every day.
Think about all the time you spend trying to be something else…
More buttoned up. less loud. thinner. less weird. off the cuff. funnier. more up to date. more presence. cooler. chill. breezy. not as intense. more strategic. less talkative. more masculine. less emotional. Less aggressive. more soft. more appreciated. More balanced. More feminine. prettier. a better friend.
Here’s what happens when you start being nothing but who you want to be. Nothing but who you are. So much of you and all of you and nothing else: you become mind-blowingly powerful. You light up rooms. You draw opportunity that was simply made for you. Because people and the #universe know what that you is.
Getting to your big “Fuck it. I’m so amazing” moment will define your journey. And every small I’m amazing moment after will keep you on the right path. Yours. The only one you’re supposed to be on.
There’s a little thing that will happen when you do get to that This is ME. Hear me roar! shift. You may find that you resonate with less people. You may have friends that don’t feel like friends anymore. You may wake up in a job that feels like a fraud, with an apartment that feels wrong, and a partner that you don’t want to see anymore. Maybe. Some version of it. Because who and what you were attracting while you were busy trying to be someone else may be slightly or drastically different than what you’ll pull toward you while being a big giant expression of yourself.
And when you’re being you, it’s likely you’ll get pushback. There will be people, haters, patriarchy, trolls, friends that aren’t into this you you. They might say you’ve changed. They might accuse you of forgetting where you came from. They might talk shit. But rooting for yourself and your confidence to move forward in the fact that this is you, like it or not, changes everything. The rest will naturally fall out creating big space for the gooooood stuff. The really good stuff to come in.
If you’re confused what the big you looks like. The most expressed you. The fullest, most expanded version of you, here’s some thing to think through:
- Ask your parent, aunt, or someone who knew you as a kid, what your personality was like. What interested you then?
- Think about what immediately excites you…
- If people’s opinions or feelings weren’t a part of the picture, what decisions or changes would you make in your life right now?
- What do you wish people saw in you, that you know is there deep down?
At the end of the day, you’re probably not going to think your way to being the highest expression of yourself. But you will feel it. When you start tuning in and becoming aware, you’ll be able to tell what feels true and what doesn’t. And this life is a constant path toward figuring out our true selves and working to let that light out every moment of every day.
Let the light out, I tell ya. YOURS.