The phrase "be yourself" has lost a lot of meaning, and the phrase simply frustrates people more than it helps these days.

We are being ourselves, at all times, aren't we? Unless we're intentionally lying or deceiving. We are all here, right now, in our bodies, in our shells - we are here, we are present, and the only thing we can be is ourselves. 

If anyone has ever said this to you, it probably left you thinking, "what do I specifically need to do?" 

Because "be yourself" doesn't come with any further guidance on the matter. It has no before and after, and doesn't mean much to anyone.

So I'd like to propose a better alternative: "don't hold back".

That's where your story lies.

We are always ourselves, but we can all remember a time where we've held back out of fear, am I right? "Don't hold back" because when you don't, that can be measured, noticed, expanded upon. Here's how to put this into action:

  • Don't do anything that you don't like, just because you think it'll impress.
  • Don't be ashamed of the things you love.
  • Don't be afraid to say what you really feel, and believe that you truly believe.
  • Forget about wanting people to agree with you.
  • Forget that you might be writing in a way that the experts might not agree with.

There is raw, untouched, authentic power in never holding back, for every single one of us.

We all have this sense of knowing when someone isn't being themselves, whether we're aware of it or not. There will be a lack of true connection - a cavern of unease between us and the people overflowing with insecurities, or the person trying to deceive us by acting like something they're not.

You wouldn't believe how much better it feels, too. The moment you're ready and willing to say to the world, "I am who I am, and I'm not going to hide it anymore", is the moment that things will radically change for you.

The people you meet, the places you go and the opportunities that present themselves to you will become more relevant than ever, and will take you closer to your goals than a lifetime of imitation or dishonesty ever could.

Don't hold back.

The Universe will respond.


Stephanie Lennox is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, holistic writing coach and wellness advocate. She’s also the founder of The Authorship Program®, a 12-week immersive experience that helps writers conquer fear in their creative lives. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please share this post: