In her incredibly wise, moving and very public TED talk, Morgana Bailey uttered these four words, “I am a lesbian.” In doing so, she took a courageous step and revealed herself to the world. Those 4 simple, yet ultimately life-changing words can teach us countless lessons about standing out, being different, and the importance of embracing who you are.
Morgana says she spent her whole life hiding from her closest friends and colleagues. When the Kansas House of Representatives voted to allow businesses to use religious freedom as a reason to deny service to gay people, she realized then that not speaking out comes with it’s own bigger-than-me consequences.[Tweet “Not speaking out comes with it’s own bigger-than-me consequences”]
“A former coworker and friend of mine has a father who serves in the Kansas House of Representatives. He voted in favor of the bill, in favor of a law that would allow businesses to not serve me”, she said. “How does my friend feel about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people? How does her father feel? I don’t know, because I was never honest with them about who I am. And that shakes me to the core.”
In ‘To Thine Ownself Be True‘, Sunny spoke about the importance of authenticity as a brand, and Morgana Bailey’s inspiring story is a testament to the importance of embracing who you truly are as a human being. For both brands and people, feeling like you need to be something you’re not, for the sake of getting people to like you, is not worth the drain on your mind, body and soul.
Morgana’s life experience guided her through the path of least resistance. She stayed silent for fear of rejection and understandably so, yet the harsh self-criticism of her own silence teaches a powerful lesson. What Morgana’s experience really illustrates is how vital it is to not only explore and embrace your identity, but to share your true self with the world.
When we are living our truth, we will sense that some people don’t get it or appreciate us for who we really are. Some people won’t like us and judge what they see. And that’s OK. Because the key to accepting ourselves is just that — accepting that it’s perfectly OK if other people have negative opinions.[Tweet “Drop the habitual masks you put on to please and impress others, it makes room for authenticity”]
Embrace your own differences, and the differences in others. When you drop the habitual masks you put on to please and impress others, it makes room for authenticity, and authenticity is a beautiful thing. Exploring and embodying the things that make you different, and make you stand out is how we develop, learn and grow. We can learn a great deal from those like Morgana with the courage to be different.[Tweet “Embrace your own differences, and differences in others”]
Next time you feel tempted to censor who you are for fear of not being accepted, remember this: It’s better to be judged for something you are than to be accepted for something you’re not.[Tweet “It’s better to be judged for something you are than to be accepted for something you’re not”]