Learn To Be Yourself

This summer I took my kids to see Rio in theaters.

We own the DVD of the movie and have seen it hundreds of times. I thought it would be the perfect way to introduce my young children to the movie going experience without producing too much anxiety about the big screen, dim lighting, and loud sound. As the movie started, the anxiety of the unknown left my kids and they melted into the familiarity of the characters, music, and lines they knew all too well.

I too experienced the movie in a new way. 

Here are 3 ways you can learn to be yourself...Rio style!

Unlearn Fear

As a chick, Blu was captured by smugglers at the very moment he was getting ready to take his first flight. His first experience risk taking was marred by fear and danger. He  thus learned that taking risks was something to fear. As a result, he and his owner/companion Linda lived a life of routine, structure, and little risk. 

Our fears come on us in the same way. 

Experience + negative outcome or feelings = FEAR 

If we can learn fear, then we can unlearn fear. The question is how. 

Exposure Therapy is a widely practiced method for overcoming fear. A decade ago, a UCLA study presented a method for unlearning fear. No matter what method you choose, the first step in unlearning or overcoming fear is facing it. You have to be BRAVE enough to address your fear head on. 

Just because it is that way now, doesn't mean it is forever destined to stay that way.

Develop Your Strengths, Not Your Crutches [Tweet This]

Blu comforted himself in his inability to fly by comparing himself to the "41 different species of flightless birds" including ostrich. He reasoned that if other birds in the world can get along without flight, so could he. He then developed a complex system of unnatural transportation that he became proficient at using. 

Instead of spending time developing elaborate ways to just make due, take the same energy and develop the extraordinary.  Spend your energy developing your assets, not compensating for your lack.

Embrace the REAL You

When Blu returned to Rio, he had to learn the culture of flying from other birds who could fly. He had to learn about what it takes to fly. He had the ability but in order to unleash his ability, he had to learn about the real Blu. He came face to face with himself.

Most people love the idea of improving communication skills. It is a worthwhile pursuit other people should really pursue. When I tell people what I do for a living , the first response is "I know people who could use help with that". We always turn the mirror outward, to put off having to see our own reflection. 

If you are BRAVE enough to see your own reflection, yes you will discover flaws. But you wiCll also discover abilities you never knew. I encourage you to learn to manage your flaws while unleashing your abilities.

"Human being are born with just two basic fears. One is the fear of loud noises. All others must be learned."~ Ronald Rood

Even though I'd seen the movie hundreds of times, I cried like a baby when Blu flew for the first time proudly proclaiming, "I'm not an Ostrich."

He was experiencing true freedom for the first time. He could see what he was missing being bound by fear and insecurity. When you unlearn fear, develop your strengths, and embrace your uniqueness, you too can soar!

What gets in the way of being brave enough to unlearn fear, develop our strengths, and embrace ourselves ?
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  1. This is great stuff! It is amazing the life lessons you can learn from watching animated films!!

  2. As people, we naturally want to be liked and accepted by others. I think a common fear amongst most people, myself included, is fear of rejection. I have learned to move past this, but it took me a while. I had to learn how to accept rejection and realize that rejection from others was not as bad as hiding myself and who I am. I am still in the process of truly embracing myself, but I move a step closer every day. This blog is full of insight and knowledge about being brave. I can not wait for you to write a book!

  3. Andrea! Well put. Rejection is a huge issue, but one the BRAVE choose to move forward against day by day. Glad you are one of them ;) I am so glad you are enjoying the blog!

  4. I learned recently that sociophobia (the fear of being judged unfavourably by others) is the second most common fear of all. More common than the fear of death. It really is such an important obstacle to overcome, we don't really start to live freely until we do.