Many of us go through life as a prisoner to to an artificial life. We get trapped and caught up in a game of constantly trying to be someone we're truly not. We fail to realize how awesome we really are when we're not trying to be like everyone else.

About 7 years ago, I was the best man in my brother's wedding. At the time, I was so quiet and shy that the thought of getting up in front of people and giving a toast was absolutely terrifying. I had spent all of high school and college as an introvert. I had spent those years trying to be someone I wasn't because I was scared of being judged.

I just wanted everyone to like me and being quiet was the only way for me to feel like I was achieving that. I just gave people no reason to dislike me.

However, I decided for the day of my brother's wedding to let down my guard and let loose. I ended up having a lot of fun that day and really enjoyed myself. I also apparently gave a pretty memorable toast. People still come up to me and quote me. People still make comments about how I was that day.

The truth is that I had become very insecure about how I acted that day. I began to feel that I went too far and that maybe I was a bit too much. I was afraid that people were negatively judging me over how I acted. It then became easy to just keep to my usual shy self.

Flash forward to now where my thinking has greatly changed. I have recently realized that I had been spending way too much time worrying about what others thought of me. I had built up so much anxiety over the years thinking about the opinions of others. The truth is that other people aren't me and they don't know me. They don't know what I've been through and they don't know why I do the things I do.

The sad truth is that people who talk about other people do it because they are insecure themselves and they need to put someone else down to feel better about themselves.

I have learned that you can't care what other people say or think. Just do you. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to want you in their life. Let them do them and you do you. Life is too short to waste on things that weren't meant to be or on people who were never going to like you anyway. Free yourself of this worry.

Freeing yourself and letting go is one of the hardest but yet rewarding things you could ever do. When you stop trying to be like everyone else you feel a weight lifted off your chest. When you free yourself you start seeing the things that truly make you happy.

True happiness is a state that is hard to obtain unless we are being true to ourselves. An important thing to know is that true happiness doesn't come from money or popularity. True happiness is something that comes from within.

I've learned that listening to your heart is the secret to self freedom.

When I was a kid I knew I had a great imagination and big dreams to go along with it. As a kid, I also knew I wanted to help others and change the world. Society always told me that none of this was possible. My heart has always screamed, "Yes, it is!"

Letting down your guard and embracing your true self is like magic. The vibe you feel from within when you free yourself of insecurities and worries is indescribable. Even if it's just for a moment. The feeling, even briefly can be life changing. If you want to let loose and have some fun then do so. Work on yourself and enjoy the ride. The right people will naturally show up in your life and the wrong people will disappear.

I've learned that it's ok and sometimes necessary to be a little selfish. Otherwise, you won't be truly living and people will walk all over you.

Usually being true to yourself requires ruffling some feathers and creating some enemies. Realizing that your not responsible for anyone else's happiness is key. You are only responsible for your own happiness. Do what makes you happy. So go have that random dance party. Go sing in the shower and go sing in the car. Break free and declare self freedom.

K.P. Gatti – 09.08.2017

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