What’s that thing that you’re afraid people might find out about you?

Maybe it’s something big and serious (an addiction or traumatic experience from your past), or maybe it’s something harmless that you’re just afraid of being judged for (you got a little botox at your last derm visit – or you ate a cannabis gummy on your last night out. Not that I’m speaking from experience.) We all have things that we avoid bringing up in conversation because we’re afraid of how people might perceive us. We may even deny them or make up a little white lie to hide them. And then there’s regret around the fact that we fibbed, and the shame spiral continues.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the question: what if we all just said the thing that we’re afraid people might find out about us? Sure, there may be some blowback – people may criticize, disapprove, judge. But so what? Is that really the worst thing that can happen?

And the flip side is that in our polished and sparkly social media-driven world, what if our coming clean actually caused others to connect with us on a deeper level… and even inspired them to be brave enough to finally say the secret that’s been weighing on their heart?

I turned 35 a few months ago, and I’m feeling the winds of change. Birthdays often remind us of how short our lives are, and if we’re not careful, they can blow right past us before we choose to wake up and bring intention to how we’re living out our days on this planet. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this site and the company I’ve built, together with my team — what a gift it is to be able to speak into the hearts and minds of our readers — and the responsibility I have to be sharing truth and authenticity, scratching beneath the surface to get to the heart of things, and encouraging each of you to live your lives in a more authentic way.

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the “point” of this post is — I don’t have 5 tips for you to walk away with — I just wanted to share what’s on my heart today. To let you know that I’m going to do my best to show up in as real and authentic of a way as I can, even if my perfectionist tendencies might still reveal themselves once in awhile.

And I wanted to remind you that even if you’re not an “influencer” for your job, you have so much influence on the people in your sphere – and they want to hear the story that made you into the beautiful, one-of-a-kind person that you are.

So… what’s something you’re afraid people might find out about you?

***

Our editorial theme for September is Daring, chosen with all of the above in mind. I cannot wait to dive into the interviews, home tours, fashion, beauty, and travel ideas we’ve got on the books this month, all inspired by living life boldly and unapologetically. Also excited to hear how you guys are choosing to be daring this month, either in the comments or over on Instagram.

To get us started…

Don’t miss our September playlist that just hit Spotify.

As always, created by our resident DJ Jamie Pabst. Subscribe to our channel for the coolest new music curated by mood and activity. Play our September jams right here!

6 comments
  1. 1
    Barbara | September 1, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    This article sums up why I am a fan of your site and you….authenticity, honesty, inside beauty. I always learn something new and interesting after reading your website. So to you and your team, keep up the fabulous work you are doing.
    Also, I really like your fashion style. Could you do a post on where you find your clothes?

    Reply
  2. 2
    Maggie | September 3, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    This post really resonated with me today. Such perfect timing…I wrote my own mantra of authenticity last night! Thanks for putting it out there.
    With Social Media today, it seems everyone’s need to be perfect is getting in the way of real connections. I hope there is something we can all do about it before it becomes the norm.

    Reply
  3. 3
    Tiffany | September 3, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I truly appreciate you bringing up this topic. I’ve always been an open book, but I’ve really had a hard time opening up to others about my son. He was recently diagnosed with mental illness. To say it is difficult to talk about it an understatement. Stigmas, judgement, grief…all bottled up together. Never thought this would be part of my son’s journey or part of my own. It truly makes you vulnerable on a whole other level. But the more I do talk about it, the less shame I feel. I’m working on it daily, thank you for the reinforcement.

    Reply
    • Renee Warren | September 4, 2019 at 4:03 am

      Tiffany,
      You’ve got this.
      Love and prayers to you and your son.
      Xo

      Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 4, 2019 at 6:25 am

      Tiffany, thank you for sharing this, and I want you to know that your comment likely inspired so many others who have been where you are and felt the shame. I just want to wrap you up in the biggest hug and tell you it’s going to be fine, but I also know that you have a journey ahead of you. So while I can’t say things will be fine, I can say — You’ve got this. Your son is so blessed to have you as his mother. Beauty will come from this experience.

      And coming from the daughter of a psych nurse, let me also add that it would shock most people to learn how many families have mental illness in their midst. So you are not alone. Sending you all the love (and if you haven’t already, I bet you’d love reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection or Braving the Wilderness.) <3

      Reply
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Hannah Zahner