There is a power in being yourself. Authenticity attracts support, faith, and love from others. Its attractiveness comes from people’s ability to trust and relate to you on a deep level because nothing is hidden.
Many of us put on a facade of more confidence and ability than we truly have and this brings about arrogance and dishonesty. This behavior repels people away. It is the opposite of attractiveness. Being yourself requires no extra effort.
“Be yourself!” We all got this advice many times from our parents as we were growing up. These words were intended as encouragement as we faced new social situations. We were shy and afraid. We didn’t know how to behave or what to talk about.
Later, as teenagers, we received the same advice from our friends when we’re going out on a date for the first time. “I don’t know what to say?” you might have said to your friends. “Just be yourself!” they would say.
Prior to becoming an adult many of us did not know who we were or what we wanted to do with our lives. I certainly didn’t I was usually thinking about how I wanted to be like someone else.
I wanted to have black hair instead of blonde. Couldn’t change that.
I wanted to be like the captain of the basketball team and have everyone admire me. Trouble was I wasn’t that good at basketball.
I wanted to have a more outgoing personality like those who seemed to be very popular. Trouble was I was more reserved and soft-spoken.
I wanted to be a math and science wiz so that I could become a doctor and really impress the world. The problem was I wasn’t good at math or science.
Then I stumbled upon tennis, architectural design, and landscaping. These things came easily for me and I received many accolades from my teachers, parents, siblings, and friends. Trouble was I was still trying to live up to an image in my head of the ideal man who I was supposed to be. Attainment of this ideal was of course impossible. This continued into my early adult years.
When you try to be something that you are not you give up your power. All of your power is in being yourself. The closer you are to being yourself the more powerful you are. Your true power is in being your unique and authentic self. Once you are being yourself, people will be drawn to you and they will love you –- and not the false you.
Our natural inclination as human beings is to support and put out positive energy toward people who are authentic and striving to be their best. This is especially true when the authentic person appreciates and even loves the people who are supporting them.
A perfect example of the power of being yourself is the story about Kevin Skinner from season four of “America’s Got Talent.” I just happened to run across his story on the internet. I was instantly fascinated which is rare for me since I don’t watch these types of television programs.
Kevin Skinner walked onto the stage and revealed to the world during his first pre-performance interview in a (delightful) southwestern Kentucky accent that he was an unemployed former chicken catcher. The judges and audience snickered and then laughed at him. Their response did not deter Kevin. He just smiled and continued being himself. He went on to do the same with his guitar and singing performance of Garth Brook’s song, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and the audience and judges loved him for it. Kevin got a standing ovation! They loved his authenticity and heartfelt rendition of the song.
In later interviews and performances, Kevin Skinner’s authenticity continued to shine through and his fan base grew into the millions in just a few weeks. Once you’ve read some of the comments posted below videos of his performances on the Internet, it becomes clear how loyal and loving his fans truly are. It’s amazing! There were a couple of negative comments, but I can’t help but believe these were posted by friends of other performers or by contestants who were eliminated from the show.
Here’s a link to a video of Kevin’s first performance. Pay close attention to the reactions of the host, judges, and audience before (especially), during, and after Kevin’s performance. For the best viewing, be sure to click the “Full screen” button. Note: A short commercial may precede video.
Please report if this video goes dead here.
Although Kevin’s voice and guitar playing are good, his authenticity and heartfelt performances are extraordinary! By totally being himself there are no barriers between him and the audience. The audience feels and believes every word and emotion that he sings.
Even though Kevin struggled with his confidence, people were naturally inclined to support and encourage him. Because Kevin is so transparent, other people can easily see parts of themselves in him. When they do, they want to help him succeed in the same way that they want themselves to be successful.
Several websites were created for the sole purpose of helping Kevin win the “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) competition and get a recording contract. Thousands of people posted comments under the videos of his performances on AGT, YouTube, and Hulu websites saying they were giving Kevin Skinner their full backing to win. Thousands of people watched videos of his performances dozens, even hundreds, of times. Thousands more stated that they wanted to buy his CD as soon as it comes out.
What’s amazing about all this is that Kevin may not even be aware of the full extent of all the support that he’s gotten because he doesn’t own a computer –- as he revealed during an interview. (Update: Kevin now has a laptop computer.)
Kevin got a tremendous response from the audience after each of his performances. This was indicated by the studio audience’s rousing applause, standing ovations, and by getting the highest vote count from viewers.
The three judges pick which contestants stay or leave the competition during the auditions and the first live television performance. After that, the viewing public decides with their vote who stays, leaves, and wins. Each performance, including the final one, stands on its own. Considering that nearly 100,000 people auditioned for the show, winning this contest is an incredible achievement.
During the finals, which is the fourth and most important performance of all, Kevin was a bit off-key in a couple of places. The studio audience and his fans overlooked it and gave him their full support. To my knowledge, Kevin is the only singer in the competition who has not had any professional training. With a little coaching, he will be great!
Kevin Skinner won the “America’s Got Talent” contest on September 16, 2009, by receiving the highest number of votes from viewers. The power of just being yourself is amazing! His prize is one million dollars and a headliner billing at the “America’s Got Talent” show in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
Being yourself will always bring the best results.