About Allison Vesterfelt

My name is Allison and I think you are awesome.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to talk myself into believing I was awesome. Deep down, I knew I was. I really did. I sensed it in the pit of my gut. But on a daily, weekly, hourly basis, I fought with feeling like everyone else was awesome and I wasn’t.

The only way I could think to prove to the world (and to myself) how awesome I was, was to hold back, to avoid any chance of faltering or failure. So I tiptoed. I looked to others to help me make my decisions, clinging to rules or “programs” or powerful leaders to be my guide. I begged for the approval of those I admired. I felt afraid and unsteady most of the time.

I stifled and smothered all the beauty and power of who I was.

This tendency wrecked havoc on every area of my life.

I was perpetually dissatisfied in my career, for example, always working tirelessly for the approval of a boss and never feeling appreciated for who I actually was. My romantic relationships and friendships took a similar path. I was really good at getting people to like me at first. But over time, the “me” they liked turned out to not be very “me” at all.

Ultimately, those relationships ended in disappointment—for everyone involved.

It always felt like something was missing, from my friendships, from my work, from my life.

And something was missing: the totally awesome version of myself I was hiding, watering down, or holding back.

This all started, believe it or not, from a very young age.

I was a fun-loving kid with a closet full of frilly dresses and a proclivity to get down in the dirt and make big messes. At the age of four, I would walk up to perfect strangers in the grocery store and introduce myself to them with my first and last name. I laughed and sang and dreamt of all the incredible places I would go someday.

Then, out of nowhere, someone I trusted took advantage of me.

From that point on, everything changed.

I learned to protect myself. To be independent. To question everyone. I learned to hold back. People who “put themselves out there,” were far too vulnerable to attack, I decided. It was foolish to dream, to believe it was safe to be myself. These were the paradigms I internalized long before I could articulate them with language.

These are the paradigms I’ve spent the last 10 years fighting desperately to unlearn.

Take a minute to think back to when you were a kid.

Picture yourself at a precious age, like four, five or six—an age before self-consciousness, fear or guilt were ruling your life. What were you doing? How were you acting?

How did you feel when you didn’t have to wonder how to be or who you were?

Who were you when you could be perfectly you?

My guess is you sang in the shower. You danced in public. You told stories to strangers in the grocery store. You were an artist—with crayons or a bucket and pail in the sandbox or even with your food at the dinner table. You were an athlete: running and running and running until you couldn’t run anymore.

You trusted everyone. You had faith. In everything you did, you gave it all you had.

Most importantly, you weren’t afraid to shine gloriously in front of the world.

Then something happened.

Someone made fun of you at school. Someone you trusted hurt you. You were punished or ridiculed for your tendency to twirl. You were told to calm down and sit down and keep your laughter under control.

You complied. Any child would. If you didn’t, you’d be subject to even more punishment, mocking, or ridicule. So you carefully tucked that oh-so-free part of you away from the world. You learned, so perfectly and obediently, to hold yourself back.

You told yourself this was normal. This was part of being an “adult”. But what if you were wrong?

What if you didn’t have to hold back anymore?

What if the childlike part of you was the most important part? What if there were something you could do it get it back?

Look, every child has to grow up. It’s only natural.

But what if growing up didn’t have to mean abandoning that child inside of us? What if truly growing up couldn’t mean abandoning that childlike part of ourselves—because that childlike part of you is your essence, the only endowment you have to survive and thrive in the world?

The child inside of us keeps hoping, even when things feel especially dark.

The child inside of us has faith, even when the world tries to talk us out of it.

The child inside of us is never self-conscious—therefore has the capacity to give selflessly and gloriously the very best he or she has to give to the world.

It’s time to stop hiding who you really are.

It’s time to stop worrying you are anything other than awesome. It’s time to stop mimicking other people and start being completely and fully yourself. It’s time to rediscover who you are, to come home to yourself and to be reunited with that bold and beautiful and totally awesome version of you.

Unearth your passions.

Find a career you love.

Forge bold, powerful, life-altering relationships.

Be stupid happy. Laugh, play sing. Be you again.

Don’t hold back. Push forward.

Not sure how to do all of that? That’s okay. I’ve been walking the road for several years now and I still don’t have it all down. Not by a long shot. But I’m here to help, if you’ll trust me, just a little for now.

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