Mike Kemski has been a rising force in the field of self-development in the last few years. His incredible story is one of tragedy to triumph. He’s a beacon of hope for so many people who are sadly watching their lives pass them by. He gives people the ability to shape the destiny that they want, and has helped thousands of people in 67 countries regain the power and ability to overcome their most pressing issues.

TAMMY LAWMAN: There are a lot of people who have great family lives growing up, but they get to adulthood and struggle with success. I think it’s all relative. You talk about being authentic. I think most of us try to be. Do you think that being authentic is critical to someone’s success?

MIKE KEMSKI: I think it’s critical to a high level of success. I think it’s absolutely critical to happiness. It’s simple by definition. Authenticity just means to be yourself. That’s simple, but it’s not always easy. There are so many different things and people telling you what and who you are, what to say, who to say it to, and how you should say it, depending on who they are.

They tell you how you should look and dress, what kind of music you should listen to, who you should and shouldn’t respect and why, and on and on. People tell us about all these things and who we should be. If you take a quick drive down any major highway, you’ll see 27 reasons why you’re messed up and 13 reminders that you have problems in your life.

How often do we see something that says, “You’re perfect just the way you are”? Never. Being authentic-while a simple concept-is not always an easy practice. I can tell you a good contrasting experience that almost everyone has had in their lives to give them a clearer idea of what it looks like. You know that sometimes you’ve had enough pretending about being something you’re not.

It’s like a fat guy sucking his gut in around pretty girls, trying to impress them at a bar and get their attention. Finally, he gets so exhausted and says, “Screw it. I’m fat. If they don’t like it, they can kiss my fat butt.” He lets it all hang out and relaxes, and guess what always seems to magically happen. Girls start talking to him. People scratch their heads and say, “Why?” To him, he is being inauthentic and trying to be something he’s not.

It happens because his energy changed. People are genuinely attracted to authenticity, and not a bunch of phony B.S. People are a lot smarter than most other people give them credit for. We human beings are a very intuitive crew of mammals. Another good example is Howard Stern. He was Mr. I’m-Going-To-Play-By-The-Rules radio guy using his trained radio voice.

He would say, “The weather in Dallas, Texas is 90-degrees and sunny.” The pressure cooker builds up inside all of us if we’re not being authentic. Everybody knows what I’m talking about. If you’re saying things and not being authentic, something tries to get out of you. It’s your authenticity. It’s your true self. That pressure cooker got to be too much for Howard Stern, and it popped.

He went off the deep end. He got belligerent and blew up on the radio. He unleashed his authentic self, totally thinking he was going to lose his job, but not caring at all anymore. He said, “I don’t care. I can’t not be myself anymore.” What happened to Howard? His ratings shot through the roof instantly. He became a globally-known celebrity making loads of money and living his life authentically everyday.

Can you imagine how freeing that must have felt? It would be incredible. I tried to be what I thought other people wanted me to be in my life many times. Especially in the self-help world where I ended up miserable and no different than anyone else out there, not to mention that I wasn’t serving people to the best of my ability. I’m not a polished guy. I get too rough and abrasive for a lot of people who think certain ways about personal growth and what’s supposed to be.

It’s supposed to be always peaceful or whatever they might think. Sometimes it actually makes people a tad soft over the years, but I learned something very important. There will always be people who love the authentic you, and there will always be people who are scared of it and don’t like it at all. If you don’t have a couple of haters in your audience, you’re doing something very wrong.

You’re not being authentic. You’re trying to please everybody. You’re trying to be the right person for everybody. There are six billion people in the world. There’s no way you can be everything to everybody. You have to be everything to you. At the end of the day, I learned that it’s too darn exhausting to try to be what other people want you to be. Everybody knows it’s exhausting to be what somebody else wants you to be.

It’s easier to be real and authentic. I say to let it all hang out. Say what you mean and mean what you say, even if it means they look at you funny. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I ever want to. It’s obvious that being authentic works far better than toeing the line on what somebody else thinks you should be. Is authenticity important for success? I think it is, mainly because it builds stronger and more compelling relationships.

Here’s the next thing about that. I know people who are successful financially and are multi-millionaires, but they’re not authentic, and they’re miserable. Who cares? Think about it. If you’re cold and miserable and have all the money in the world, so what? What good is it? It’s not good. If you’re in a relationship to be great and you’re miserable because you’re not being authentic with your spouse or your significant other, who cares?

It’s worthless. The only way you can be happy is to be authentic. It’s a simple concept, but not very easy to do because we’re always getting bombarded. Authenticity is definitely important for success, but it’s more important for happiness. You can tie those things together. Happiness really is success, in my opinion. When you’re happy, free, and authentic, people talk about success flowing. It certainly does flow into your life a lot more.

You can definitely take advantage and seize those things a lot more when you’re authentic because you’re happy and in your power. I don’t have all the answers, but I never really want to. Obviously, being authentic works better than toeing the line on what somebody else thinks you should be.

TAMMY LAWMAN: Just from my own personal experience, it seems like it takes people a while to figure out who they are, what they like, and what they’re all about. If you were to sit down with 10 people and ask each of them, “Who are you? What are you all about?” I think they would struggle to answer that. I don’t know how you get to the point where you say, “This is who I am, this is what I’m going to be, and this is what I want.” How do you get over that hump?

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For more information about Mike Kemski and his work, please go to http://www.banabu.com/mikestory.html

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