I was on a call today with a woman who cried every time she talked about her passion. She was totally embarrassed by her sudden outburst of emotion, and she feared that unless she learned to control the crying, her emotions would keep her from having success in business.  She was just about to find out that the one thing she had been trying to suppress for years – her tears- were actually the secret to her future success.

Wow!  What a breakthrough.

I know exactly how girlfriend feels!  All my life I’ve been trying to suppress my true self for fear that people would judge me.  I’ve cut and colored my hair according to what I thought people would think.  I’ve kept from piercing my nose for fear others would judge me, bought clothes that I thought would keep from attracting the wrong kind of attention, and have kept my self purposely small, failing to take risks in business so that people can’t say, “Who the hell do you think you are?!”

And like this woman I’ve let what other people think of me determine who I’ve been, which has resulted in my ultimate failure.  I’ve always assumed people won’t read my blog if I’m blatantly honest with my opinions. Just like this woman, I’ve kept a lifetime of emotions bottled up inside me for fear that people would point and laugh at me.

My parents divorced when I was was four years old.  My father used to visit every few months and although I enjoyed the time we spent, about halfway through each visit my stomach would knot up in fear.  I would think about how he was going to leave again and I’d cry off and on pretty much right up until the time until he left.

I didn’t want anyone to know that I was sad.  It felt too vulnerable. There were occasions in public when the sadness hit me hard.  Tears would well up in my eyes and my cheeks would become flush with big, red spots. The worst part were those damn spots!  They refused to go away no matter how much cold water I splashed on my face!  I was, desperate to hide my pain, and yet my face refused to let my true feelings go unnoticed, so I ended up attracting more  unwanted attention.

There is a silver lining to this sob story…

As that woman cried, the leader on the call changed everything for her…and me!  He thanked her for her tears because as he said, “You are an emotional person. You give us permission to feel our emotions too. It’s part of what will make you successful.”

Right then and there the woman had a major emotional and professional breakthrough. She realized that trying to suppress her feelings was the one thing that was keeping her from becoming a superstar in business, and in life.  From this day forward, she could now be her true authentic self and attract more clients, simply being herself.

I took that lesson to heart.  No longer will I write, speak, teach or preach anything that isn’t 100% authentic to me and the way I’m feeling at the moment…and neither should you.  Don’t hold back your tears.  They may just be that one secret to your success that you’ve been waiting for.

[inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]Be who you want to be, no more and no less. Don’t censor your thoughts, feelings, your message, or your style for anyone – ever! – Stacey Grewal[/inlinetweet]

People will either like us for who we are, or they won’t.

What’s the point in going into business for ourselves if we’re not going to absolutely love what we do? We might as well go back to the corporate world, or the playgrounds with all the other comatose moms where we can bury our heads in the sand and forget we have a fire in our hearts. Or worse, we could end up totally sucking at whatever we  do, because when we’re inauthentic people can smell our dissatisfaction (frustration, confusion, unhappiness) a mile away.  And they’ll move onto someone else who is passionate about what their business.

Are you being your true authentic self?  If so, how does it feel?  If not, what’s holding you back from being the gift that you are?

I’m looking forward to reading your comments below!