Retire Your Representative

Tom Leu

I want to talk about versions… versions of you; versions of me. Another name for it is your representative. Those parts of you and me that get put forth, but aren’t real. The alter egos that can cause personal alienation. The faces and we show the world, but aren’t actually the most honest, truest versions of ourselves. You know, the real you and me that we reserve only for those closest to us?

So here’s the question for you: How often does your representative show up?

> You know, that person who is merely a version of you… not the real you.

> You know, the more politically-correct, diplomatic version of you who attempts to keep up with Jones’ and saves so much face that you’re virtually unrecognizeable.

> You know, that watered-down version of you that has no edge, no real point-of-view, no distinguishable differentiation.

> You know, that version of you who is way too concerned about what others think of you.

> You know, that version of you who doesn’t realize that others aren’t thinking of you much at all, because they’re thinking of themselves much more.

How often does your representative show up? How often does this YOU show up as YOU?

New York Times best selling author, and body language expert Janine Driver floored me with this simple, yet profound question when I trained with her one-on-one in the great state of Maine a few years back. A truly transformational experience that has profoundly affected all of my work since then.

Here’s a couple of definitions for context:

“representative” – (noun) a person or thing that represents another or others.

“represent” – (verb) to stand or act in the place of, as a substitute, proxy, or agent; to portray or depict; to present the likeness of, or play the part of.

A representative is a stand-in; a substitute; a pretender. My “representative” has shown up for much of my life. My “representative” has always been well-intentioned, and has helped me at times, but has held me back much more. My “representative” appears to be an asset many times, but is actually deficit.

Even writing this now, I have to be careful not to let my rep do the talking (I’ll call him “Rep Tom” vs. “Real Tom”). It’s Real Tom who’s the person behind the words. HE needs to do the talking. Real Tom is edgy, sarcastic, critical, comical, incisive, and intelligent. Yeah, that’s right… intelligent, I fucking said it because it’s true. “Rep Tom” wouldn’t say that. Real Tom would. “Rep Tom” would fear what people might think of him for saying all that. Real Tom wouldn’t.

There’s nothing wrong with being yourself; being honest, raw, and transparent. It’s what real people really want. I do. And I’ve learned that there’s no other way to be if you hope to live a fulfilling life. There’s no other way to be if you hope to truly connect with others deeper than just superficially on social media or elsewhere. There’s no other way to be if you hope to make a real difference while you’re here riding on this rock called planet Earth.

There’s No. Other. Way. To. Be.

“Humans should be less judgey… There’s more to life than falling in line.” – Anonymous Facebook comment

the shiFT:

Retire your representative. Give yourself permission to put that persona out to pasture. I’m talking to me as much as I’m talking to you right here, right now. Do yourself, and the rest of us a fucking favor and just be YOU. Please, just do YOU. There’s no one else to be. There’s no other way to be. There’s no time left to be disingenuous, inauthentic, fake, or living in fear more than you’re not. Anything less than the real, true you is depriving the world of all you have to offer. And that my friends, as my Mother used to say, is a crying shame. So much so, that I personally will not tolerate it any longer for me. Hence this podcast. Nor should you…

Finally, get a coach. Get a mentor. Get a trusted person or persons on your team who will tell you the truth, and push you to get better. To grow. To improve. Constructive feedback isn’t mean or full of ill-will, but rather designed to fire you up, and challenge you to make the necessary changes to bring the most value you have to offer into the world. And the world needs more of that. The world needs your contributions.

My Lifestyle Initiative Training program is one option available to you. More info on that is available here on my site at if you’re interested. But no matter the vehicle you choose to get there, just make sure to choose one, and then take massive action. Because time is of the essence.

And speaking of being tolerant:

If you offend easily, I’m not the guy for you, and this ‘aint the place for you. Click off now.

If you’re a fundamentalist freak on the fringe, I’m not the guy for you.

If you’re a judgemental, look-down-your-nose at those who speak their truth, I’m not the guy for you.

If you think you’ve got the market cornered on “the truth” for all, then I’m not the guy for you.

If you’re scared of looking at yourself and owning your own shit, then I’m not the guy for you.

If you think you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong fucking room.

If you’re fired-up, and pumped-up and inspired after reading this… then I’m definitely the guy for you.

… If you see the need and value of talking shiFt… then this is the place for you.

Stay tuned-in…

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