Mike Robbins

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How often do you not say or do something because you're worried about how it'll be perceived? For most of us, myself included, this happens more often than we'd like to admit.

We live in a culture that is starving for authenticity. We want our leaders, our co-workers, our family members, our friends and everyone else we interact with to tell us the truth and to be themselves. Most importantly, we want to have the personal freedom and confidence to say, do and be who we really are without worrying so much about how we appear to others and what they might think or say about us.

Sadly, however, even though we may say we want to live in a way that is true to our deepest passions, beliefs, and desires, most of us don't. It's not that easy. We've been taught by our parents, teachers, spouses, friends, co-workers, politicians, the media and others that it's more important to be liked and to fit in than it is to be who we truly are. In addition, many of us assume that who we are is not good enough and therefore we're constantly trying to fix ourselves or to act like others who we think are better than us.

However, as the famous 19th-century author and poet Oscar Wilde so brilliantly stated, "Be yourself—everyone else is already taken."

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