Above All, Live Your Truth

Above All, Live Your Truth

Four years ago, when I was launching my brand, a close friend and mentor (who was at the time and remains today a very successful businessman) advised me to never talk or refer to spirituality. Why? Because he said it would limit my audience by alienating the many who didn’t align with my views.

While I truly value mentorship. Hard headed me didn’t listen and talked about my faith, at will.

Guess what happened? My mentor was right. Alienation came. So did ridicule and criticism. Several incidents happened that I couldn’t believe: 

  • Once, while walking off stage after a presentation (in it I referred to spirituality), an audience member handed me a note stating “I was going to hire you to speak for our organization until you referenced Christianity, bad move.”
  • Another came after I wrote a blog post about God. I was bombarded with negative comments, hate emails, and then my site was hacked.
  • The most shocking incident happened to me on the set of a talk show in LA after referencing Jesus on tape. During the following break, a producer walked up to me and whispered in my ear “please refrain from those religious comments.”

Wow.

My mentor told me all of this would happen and it did. I went on to think I’m going to lose potential business, partners, and opportunity. So in fear, I stopped. For the next year, I didn’t say, write, or mention anything connected with my faith, publicly.

Then, one day last year, something really great happened to me and I was trying to figure out a way to express my joy. Without hesitation, I swiped my iPhone on, opened twitter and simply tweeted “God is good!” The second I hit the send button, I closed my phone and went on about my business. Later that afternoon, I jumped on my laptop and saw that my earlier tweet was retweeted over ONE THOUSAND times (ten times the amount of anything I had ever tweeted up until that point).

Crazy as it may sound, the strong support of that single tweet made me reevaluate how I was living life (and managing my brand). It made me acutely aware I was not alone in my beliefs or willingness to express them. That single tweet illustrated to me the importance of not just knowing my truth but communicating it. 

When I reflect on this story I realize in the year I remained silent, I was living inauthentically. I wasn’t being true or honoring who I was. As a result, I had limited growth professional and personally. Those times were also marked which low satisfaction and high frustration. More importantly, living that way made it impossible for me to fulfill my life’s purpose because I was muting my authentic voice.

“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” – Eckhart Tolle

The lesson is clear, once you recognize your truth, don’t mute it, don’t hide it away or try to avoid it. Admit, own and share your true thoughts, feelings, desires, insecurities, passions, embarrassment, and dreams. OWN IT!!! Being open and real about all of these things is what it means to be authentic in life. This is truly what “keepin’ it real” means!

So in hindsight, my mentor was on point (sort of)! Talking about my true self does alienate people. However, what he didn’t mention was that talking about my true self also makes my work, relationships, and life much more meaningful and fulfilling.

Are you living as your authentic self?

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life; in love and professionally. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring and coaching thousands of people.
36 comments
ShadeButler
ShadeButler

I just stumbled upon this post as I was doing research on this very topic. Thanks for being your authentic self and helping us see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving God publicly and allowing him to work through us. Blessings to you.

Latoya Simmons
Latoya Simmons

This post kinda reminds me of Paulo Coehlo's book "The Alchemist"!!!! love it!

Asia Henry
Asia Henry

Holy cow!!! I just got this EXACT message from a totally different source not less than 30 minutes ago

Mayra Vera
Mayra Vera

Thank You Very much.thats very true sweet Ángel!

Caswell Andrew
Caswell Andrew

The waiting is over. I know that you all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people proud. But love builds them up. Those who think they know something still don't know as they should. But those who love God are known by God. So then, here is what I say about eating food that is offered to statues of gods. I know that a god made by human hands is really nothing at all in the world. We know there is only one God. The waiting is over, I am here, so be still I am God, I am your God, I am the Messiah, you can have doubt, you can be sceptic, look at the signs, and prepare yourselves, the reasons you all here is spread love, have fun and read the messages given. You will say it best, when you say nothing at all. This year is when history is written, I am the only begot-ten Son, 10 is when add 2014 to single number = 7 god likes doing things in 7, father, son and holy spirit = 3, 7+3= 10 single 1, the living God. One kingdom, God kingdom, one God, one Nation, one King, one Lord, Freedom, Peace and love I bless you all.

QueenofForgiveness
QueenofForgiveness

Beautiful. I was just talking about this on a podcast. Thanks for being ontime.


Denise McKeever
Denise McKeever

Excellent post! When you wrote that you tweeted God is Good; I could feel your passion! I Agree being true to you, allows God to move in a way we could never imagine!

Henry William Correa
Henry William Correa

as my wife says...."You do whatever God puts in your heart"....man she gets me with that sooooo much

Peter Pilot Harriott
Peter Pilot Harriott

Love this post! I also struggled with this on my social media pages but I, like you, realized that alienation could be a possibility, especially from those who believed or thought differently than I did. More importantly, I realized that I was alienating my true self from my everyday happenings. That's when it hit me...Being true to yourself always supersedes trying to please everyone else. Why? Because at the end of the day, once I'm happy, my light will shine on those who CHOOSE to be a part of my life. Thanks Paul! #pilotlife

Joyce Doyle
Joyce Doyle

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12

LovelyLady34
LovelyLady34

Amen. Because no one can keep you like he can. I say all the time in spite of in the mist of he is yet still there.Awesome.

Desiree M. Mondesir
Desiree M. Mondesir

Hi Paul! I agree with the majority of this post, but I must be honest. When you personally express "your truth," you are expressing THE Truth. Truth is a Person; His name is Jesus. Hence my overwhelming disagreement with the phrase(s) that is running so rampant "your truth," "my truth." Anything that doesn't align with The Truth is not truth at all; it's an opinion. This is isn't an indictment against anyone who believes differently and it's certainly not meant to start a religious war on your website. Yet I am taking the pains to say this because I believe the expression of following one's truth (I'm speaking generally now) is extremely dangerous. Be true to yourself, yes! Admit who and what you are, please! But what if my truth is the sky is black, gravity isn't real, slitting my wrists brings nirvana, or being in an abusive relationship is ok? That's not truth, that's crazy, an illusion, or as I like to say "cray-cray." I believe we live in a society that says whatever you believe is true because you believe it and that's simply not true. It's creates a moral relativity where everything is based on opinion and nothing on truth. There is no black or white; only 50 shades of grey. In the end, we'll raise a generation that doesn't know up from down, right from wrong and we will have failed them as a whole. I promise I didn't mean to come on here and preach! But that said, I am happy that you were able to discover that the Truth does indeed set you free: in relationships, in business, and in life as a whole! Keep doing what you're doing! :D

Katori G.
Katori G.

I agree that your "mentor was on point (sort of)!" By choosing to embrace your beliefs and weave that into a positive message of your work, those who were aligned with your views embraced you. You did not alienate them. Instead of moving on with quiet grace, those who were not aligned with your beliefs chose to attack you. An unintended lesson in this is that a good mentor would use their experience to guide you and offer invaluable information on potential pitfalls or success strategies as yours did. However, in the end one needs to make a decision on what's best for their brand and future goals. Your mentor prepared you for a possible hurdle that you chose to stumble over but in the end picked yourself up and moved forward stronger. Many thanks for sharing this experience. These are invaluable lessons especially for those of us earlier on in the journey and constantly struggle to strike a balance between being authentic and showcasing work that may be universally appealing in an effort to build an audience. The lesson being: staying true to who you are may alienate those who disagree with your point of view but has also the potential of bringing about the right audience.

June
June

AWESOME advise!! Thanks & keep up the good work!

Juliann Butler-Green
Juliann Butler-Green

Paul! Don't ever have a closet religion! I understand what you were feeling (great article by the way) but you MUST let your light shine to that ALL may see your good works. Remember that EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue shall confess so don't worry about those that don't share your beliefs. Spread the good news, do not be ashamed and if they do not receive it, shake the dust from your feet and move on. There are just as many that do believe and share your sentiments and that's all that matters. You are a leader and have worked hard to build your platform. I can honestly say that I am just one of thousands that have your back and won't let you fall! Keep going Paul! You make a difference in my life everyday. Spread your message, let the word go forth and may it fall upon the ears of those who are meant to hear it. Blessings to you!

CARON
CARON

I was not living in truth, I was too busy being nice. I was miserable for a long time. Those who know me wondered what happened. Had I been whipped into submission or was I just afraid? No good came of it. So, one day I decided to start saying what I wanted and needed to say. I chose to no longer stand in the face of stupidity, racism, meanness or misogyny and challenge it all, like only I can. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that it freed me and opened me up to the parts of life I had been missing or had been blocked, including my flow of money and friends... And love. It is a step that requires courage. I'm glad I found mine again. Now y'all are really in trouble!

Parthenia Warford
Parthenia Warford

Amen Paul!!! I learned being transparent about my life story once I founded The Warford Foundation Inc it is because the single mothers we are helping feel much better seeing all I have gone through yet still very positive and Thanking God everyday through tweets, facebook posts, blog etc. Thank you to LJW for being the best Publicist I've ever had, love you very much!!

Ella Rucker
Ella Rucker

Nope. I'm actually not. Living in fear of some things and you know what? It isn't me to be so silent. I knew I was keeping my mouth closed (bad biz deal of sorts has me keeping things close to my chest), but I was so open about it when things were good it feels creepy to not mention anything now that it is over. Hummmmmmmm.... The fear of exacerbating the situation has me living outside of my truth. Thanks!

Kim J. Bright
Kim J. Bright

Thanks for sharing, Paul. Just recently I felt compelled to share more of my faith with my readers, authentically in plain ol' black and white, but not without some trepidation that I would alienate those who don't believe in God through Jesus Christ as I do. I can imagine it was rough to experience your initial fallout, but I'm encouraged to hear the freedom you feel being true to yourself, and the unexpected surprise of those who are likeminded champions WITH you. I'm committed to my faith and being who God purpsed me to be...and I believe those purposed FOR me will appreciate the authenticity.

VanGo
VanGo

I'm with you, Paul! I think people get crazy about non-secular messages because religion is so often associated with judgment and hell fire. Believing in the power of your spirit and sharing it with others is natural. Everything else is delusion. I love the quote you chose from Tolle. The truth is that our bodies are but vessels for God's great love, and sharing your experience is a continuation of your liberation. Folks can tune in or tune out, but that doesn't change your truth. Love it! Smiles!

Namie Bimba
Namie Bimba

Hi Paul, Thanks so much for your post today. I appreciate you being willing to open up and share about your negative + positive experiences with openly talking about your faith (i.e. Christianity + Jesus). This world we live in, especially the land of "freedom of expression", is so interesting sometimes...You're free to express anything you want except for faith (i.e. Jesus but everything else is okay). Anyways, it's just the way the world works. Despite that, you're right that we have an obligation to be "authentic"--true to core, from our inner being to outer being. It's the only way we can truly have peace with ourselves and find fulfillment in the life we're living and work we're doing. Managing two personalities (i.e. your authentic self + edited self for the environment you live/work in) is tasking, draining, and frustrating as you discovered. One of my favorite examples of someone living out their faith in boldness in the marketplace is one of my mentor Marshawn Evans. I know you know her. It was interesting to note how she shared at one of her conferences or in her newsletter or blog (can't remember which) that when she started expressing her faith more (i.e. with the #Godfidence after some Facebook posts and Tweets), the response was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, most of those posts got more likes + retweets than others! lol...Interesting huh? Anyways, she's a firm believer of living out your faith profitably and making an impact--a profitable one I might add--in the marketplace. Recently, I watched an interview and read several articles about Devon Franklin and I believe you even wrote a blog post mentioning him as well. Anyways, in his interview with Oprah about his book, "Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success without Losing Your True Self," he talked about how he made a decision to honor his commitments to God in regards to the Sabbath (and every area of his life too), but in the context of the interview, he talked about his initial fear in doing that especially with his job title in Hollywood. However, the blessing for him has been that inspite of his job title and busy production schedule/travels, he's been able to maintain his commitment to God without it being a problem for his bosses. They respect and honor that commitment, and he gets his job done. Well, those are just some of my thoughts on the matter! Keep doing what you're doing! You're impacting so many lives, and don't stay silent or let the overwhelming mass of negative feedback or society keep you from being your authentic self and growing more and touching more lives! Favor follows you wherever you go! Blessings and more blessings on you, Jill and your little boy!