Remember in school when you’d play “Truth or Dare”? You and your friends or schoolmates would gather around and one by one test each other’s bravery by asking each other to answer a question truthfully or do a daring task. I used to be afraid of this game. I was so afraid that if I picked “truth” they would ask me something revealing and I’d have to share an embarrassing or shameful truth. I would blush and squirm and giggle and hope “oh my goodness don’t ask who I have a crush on because he’s here and I can’t admit it in front of him!” Or, heaven forbid, they’d ask some sort of sexual question like “have you ever done xyz {insert basic sexual act} with anyone?” and I’d answer with my prudish “nooooo way!” and dart my eyes around to see if I was the only who still hadn’t done xyz.

The truth was scary. But it wasn’t easier with the dares, either. If I picked “dare” they would ask me to do something embarrassing or shameful. Maybe I’d have to kiss someone, or run around the house naked, or eat something terrifying and gross. I was just as afraid of having to do the thing, as I was that I would chicken out and not have the courage to follow through with the dare in front of my peers. Why in the world did we play this game? Why was I purposefully putting myself in the way of this shame and embarrassment?

Psst! The daring swimsuits you see in this blog were gifted from Mia Marcelle, thank you to this wonderful company for these comfortable and stylish suits! More info at the bottom of this post.

Kimmay wearing Mia Marcelle Swimsuit on the Hurray Vacay in Hawaii

There’s actually a lot to unpack here from this seemingly childish game. First, in both cases I was afraid of letting others see the true me. I was afraid that I would be revealed as something other, something shameful, someone uncool, and someone not good enough. This “not enoughness” is a story I’ve been telling myself for a long time and share about in many of my posts. And in my experience with my coaching clients and in discussions with colleagues, it’s apparent that many of us struggle with that same voice. I’ve come a long way on my journey of not having to prove that I am enough, or valid, or OK as I am – to myself and to others. It’s been a lot of inner work with coaches and books and prayer that have guided me. So if you feel that too, you are not alone.

Another thing that jumps out right away is that both telling the truth and the actual dare are pretty daring. First, when someone asked me to tell the truth, I always did. My moral integrity button – especially as a child and young person – is very high. If I was squirming about telling the truth to my peers, imagine that x10 if I lied. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. And so, in reality, telling the truth is also picking “dare”. Because while the dare usually meant you had to “do” something daring, it was also a daring act to reveal your truth. Being myself, and I mean my real, authentic, full self in front of kids my age was daring. And that has not stopped as I’ve gotten older. Can you relate?

Kimmay relaxing in the Hurray Vacay in Hawaii wearing Mia Marcelle swimwear

Kimmay dances on the Hurray Vacay in Hawaii wearing swimwear from Mia Marcelle

We are constantly playing “truth or dare” with ourselves when we share a vulnerable story, when we show up authentically on social media instead of only sharing the perfect looking things, when we embrace the beauty in our imperfections – the list goes on and on. Telling the truth is the biggest dare, I think. Being daring enough to be yourself – it’s radical. So if you feel the blushing, giggles, and fear coming up when you step up as yourself, that’s normal. Telling the truth brings up those feelings. It’s often outside of our comfort zones, so of course you’re going to feel nervous. That’s where the dare comes in. Now you’ve been dared to tell the truth to yourself and then to embrace that truth and be it, live it, even share it with others.

Another thing I think is worth pointing out is that while I shared how awful this whole childhood truth or dare experience was, I actually liked it. It gave me a rush. It was like going on a roller coaster. I was purposefully scaring myself, by letting others dare me to do things or ask me to tell the truth. That part is important. I was relying on others to do the daring.

I did this for a few reasons. Daring myself felt far too scary. I didn’t think I had it in me to actually follow through without my eager peers egging me on. I also realized it didn’t feel daring if I wasn’t doing it in front of other people. I needed their validation and witness for me to feel like it mattered. To feel like I mattered. That, friends, is hugely important to recognize in yourself if you’re doing this, too. Because while it’s OK to ask for support in being daring, it’s not up to anyone but you to show up. And you don’t need anyone else’s approval or validation that you are a daring, truthful human. Having your own approval and liking yourself first will take you way further toward a life of saying hurray inside, outside, and underneath™.

Daring yourself to be truthful, to do the scary thing, to be authentically and unapologetically you, is a deep form of self love. So don’t rely on anyone else to dare you to be you. You do the daring and you show up truthfully.

Truth and Dare Inside, Outside, and Underneath

Now it’s time for you to explore how you can be daring and truthful or bold and authentic on the inside, outside, and underneath. These are just a few suggestions, and I encourage you to discover and share your own! Do the daring thing and share in the comments below.

Kimmay feels daring in this Mia Marcelle swimsuit, what have you worn that feels like a dare?

Inside

Being authentically yourself starts inside. It starts with your relationship with yourself. You need to be honest with yourself about who you are before you can show up and share that on the outside with others.

Make room for the truth by letting go of old stories, misunderstandings, and judgements. My favorite practice to do this was taught to me by one of my coaches, and it’s something that I practice myself and lead my coaching clients through on a regular basis. It’s called Compassionate Self Forgiveness. {In fact, if you sign up for my weekly newsletters, I’ll send you my Self Forgiveness Workshop, audio, and blog post for free.} You can use these resources to walk yourself through this practice again and again. Because the way you talk to yourself on the inside really matters. And those negative stories are just that – stories. They’re not the truth. So forgiving yourself for buying into them and doing some healing around them will help you let them go. That then creates space for the truth to come in. So do the daring thing and uncover that truth first. Only then can you embrace and then boldly share the truth of who you are.

Example: In the photos you see in this post I am living out loud and having a great time. But I wasn’t always like that. When I started my business I was doing behind the scenes marketing work for brands because I had a misunderstanding that I would look like a vain, show-off if I had photos taken of me or if I went on TV and into the spotlight. I was judging myself about that. I was very afraid that others were judging me for being vain, and also that they may say, “who does she think she is?”

The misunderstandings leaked into me thinking I wasn’t qualified, or well spoken enough, or pretty enough, or just enough. So I had to get really cozy with myself and invite in some compassion. I forgave myself for judging myself as vain or selfish. I forgave myself for buying into the misbelief that I am not enough. Then I let in the truth. And the truth was that I could serve more people when I showed up in the spotlight. The truth is I didn’t have to look like an Insta-famous person to show up. The truth was that I was stepping into my power. And the truth is, I am enough. Practicing versions of this over and over again is what has helped me step out of hiding and into the spotlight. It’s helped me to go on trips around the world, to have the confidence to ask to work with great brands, to have photos taken of me in my underwear and swimsuits, to unapologetically share my joy, to go on national TV like The Rachael Ray Show, The Today Show, and more. Hurray!

Try it now: What is a misunderstanding or judgement you have about yourself? What is the truth? How will letting go of the old stories and inviting in the truth serve? How can you dare yourself to get to know yourself better? {Grab my free workshop on how to lovingly forgive yourself when you sign up for my emails.}

Kimmay celebrates on the Hurray Vacay in Hawaii wearing Mia Marcelle swimwear

Outside

Practice being daring and authentic in the outside world. This includes your relationship with people, your job, your home, and how you present yourself to the outside world. You can ease into this or show up in full force, either way is OK. The key is to start letting the inner work you’ve been doing and the truths that you’ve uncovered to start to show on the outside. So maybe that means daring to be yourself in the way you dress, your hair and makeup, or in your home’s decor. Maybe that means being honest and doing the scary but worthwhile act of changing your job, or having a difficult conversation with a loved one. Look around at things and people outside of you, and find a few ways you can start being more truthful, and showing up as your whole self. I know it may be scary and daring at first, so take it one step at a time.

Example: The swimsuits you see me wearing here are pretty daring for me! The company sent them to me, and I thought, “I would never pick these for myself. They’re too revealing!” But just like in the Truth or Dare game when I was a kid, I decided to let someone else dare me into wearing them. The difference now? I embraced it fully myself. I had already done the inner work to know that I am not defined by how I look, and that trying out something daring and fun was an exciting adventure.

So I slipped on the cut-down-to-there-open-on-the-sides-red-hot-one-piece swimsuit and the barely-covers-the-cheeks-or-anything-else bikini and wore them around Hawaii. I let people see me and showed up as the daring and confident person I know I am on the inside. And you know what? I loved it! Walking the walk and not just talking the talk is a huge hurray. Without having to prove myself to anyone else, I felt like a million bucks and was so proud of myself for wearing something daring.

Try it now: Where are you wearing a mask or being inauthentic? In your job, relationships, or how you dress? Without judgement, how can you share the truth about who you are in a way that is authentic? What’s one step you can take toward showing up more truthfully without worrying what others think?

Underneath

Your body is an important part of the truth. It is really daring to witness, embrace, accept, and share your body in its authentic form. This is especially true because we have a lot of voices in our world telling us that our bodies are not good, are old, are ugly, are wrinkled, are fat. So authentically allowing your body to be, and even taking steps to love it unconditionally is really radical. I started my own journey of self love and body kindness when I was just about 20 years old and started as a bra fitter. When I witnessed the truth of what bodies look like in the fitting rooms – not just the airbrushed “perfection” I saw in magazines – I was astounded. I didn’t know what the truth looked like before that. I realized it was a waste of time to talk poorly to my body and myself, and I decided to do the daring thing of learning to love my body. Because, if we’re telling the truth, every body – whether it has stretch marks, fat, wrinkles, dimples, or whether it’s light skinned or dark, or whether it’s old or new, or whether it’s tall, thin, petite, stout, abled or challenged, healthy or sick – is worthy of love. It’s your partner in this life and wants to work with you.

Taking a step toward being truthful and authentic with your body means not pressuring it to be or look like something it doesn’t. It means asking: “What does love require of me?” and being truthful with the answer. I like to ask this about my body and other things in my life. Love often requires you to stop judging so harshly or being so mean. It may also mean taking healthy steps. It may mean being really daring and stopping or starting all manner of things. For each of us it will be different. The constant is that love is the reason for the truth and the dare.

Example: I went from being totally ashamed of my body and covering it up, or trying to force it to look a different way with radical diets and no rest. In the end, when I was being truthful I realized I was not being loving to my body. And it took bravery to make a lot of the changes necessary. But that truth and dare I played with myself in my 20s helped me to show up in really daring and truthful ways in my 30s. I started wearing shorts again and not worrying if people saw my cellulite or pale legs. I even wore a bikini in O Magazine. I started sharing photos of myself in my undergarments on this very site. And to stay truthful, I never airbrush those photos. That means you’ll see the stretch marks, cellulite, scars, and love. I am constantly pushing myself to be more truthful and daring with my body, and for me that includes sharing it (in its real, beautiful, un-airbrushed form) with you. What’s your way of being truthful and daring with your body?

Try it now: There are many ways to play truth and dare with your body. A few: get to know the truth of your body. Like I suggest in my #MoreThanMyNumbers project, use your numbers like age, weight, and bra size as information, not a definition. Have a sexy date with yourself by lighting candles, putting on beautiful music, and exploring its every crevice with love. The options are limitless.

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When it comes down to it, being your authentic self is the most daring thing you can be. And it’s important. Because when you tell the truth of who you are you show others that it’s OK for them to be themselves, too. And people who are truly themselves are more loving inside, and out. They can tap into their real purpose on this Earth instead of striving to prove, or destroy, or control. They are free to love themselves and others without judgement or fear or judgment. And we need that love. My goodness, we need that love in the world. You with me? 

I leave you with this:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you

something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Credits: Wearing Mia Marcelle bathing suits, thanks to the company! Photos by Becky Yee during a #HurrayVacay in Hawaii. Special thanks to Tina.