“Believe in yourself!
Be yourself, unapologetically, and go, live your life!
It’s the only one you have”
Today, these words made me get out of bed, go to the gym, finish my 3-feet long To-Do list, catch up on that Netflix show I’d been too lazy to watch. I did it all with a smile and a whole newfound confidence and belief in myself. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way; that I’ve accomplished something in life, in one day. Honestly, I got more done in one day than I’d done in the last week. How? How am I exuding this confidence and how am I standing a little taller, today, than yesterday? Here’s how:
I’ll be honest with you, I was skeptical at first, when I got the book. What can a book possibly tell me, about myself, that I already don’t know? How can Shahzad, here, tell me how to be a better version of myself. How to dare to be myself, if you may.
And that’s when I realised. All my life, I’ve been a daughter, a sister, a friend to many. I’ve been someone’s boss, someone’s employee, someone’s acquaintance, someone’s student. But the one thing I had been shying away from, all this time, it was myself. Stuck in a constant conundrum of thoughts and with the self-doubting statements constantly floating around in my head, I’d pretty much embraced the mediocrity that I thought was destined for me.
“our mind betrays us. And we, as silent observers in our own life, let it”
Shahzad’s words pierced my mind and gave me a quick jolt back into reality. That no, it doesn’t have to be this way. Shahzad’s personal anecdotes within the book only make it more personal. Almost like a friend who’s sat you down and is trying to get through to you.
The passion with which first-time author Shahzad has penned down this book makes you feel like it’s written especially for you. And there’s been so much thought put towards curating what is to be delivered to you, as well. Look at this Collectors Box, that’s just so thoughtful, it’s actually pretty sweet.
It makes for a good addition to your own bookshelf and as a present to those you care about most. The Dare To Be You mirror, is a constant reminder to reflect upon yourself and just to take a moment to pause and see what you’re doing and where you’re going. It’s also a gentle reminder for you to dare to be you. And the candle! It actually makes complete sense when you look at these things together. Light a candle, read the book. Instant joy.
Coming back to the book, because I’m really not done with talking about it, yet.
The book is divided into 8 basic, free-flowing chapters: Belief and Positivity, The Mind, Fear, The Laws, Happiness, Passion and Purpose, Self-Belief, Being You. Before I talk about them, I know what you’re thinking. Who is he? What does he know about my life? I don’t need a preachy book to tell me how to live my life. But this book comes from a place of knowing. Shahzad’s writing is so raw and powerful that you realise that he’s been through his fair share of downs, in life. And he managed to rise up, time and time again. And that’s what he wants for you, too.
He speaks about conviction and the will to actually get up and change your life, if you’re not happy with the way things are. How to tell the Universe what you want, and how to get it from the universe.
He speaks about how we need to stop letting ourselves become our biggest enemies and how we let ourselves get lost in a loop of negative thoughts, preventing ourselves from becoming the best versions of ourselves. Our thoughts end up being like that annoying mosquito, always humming in our ears, driving us crazy. But you know what you’ve gotta do. Get up and swat it. That’s the only way to make the humming disappear. You’ve got to do the same thing with your negative thoughts.
The third chapter of the book resonated with me the most: FEAR. The fear of being let down, of letting people down, of not being enough, of losing loved ones, of not succeeding in life, of not being able to provide for those (financially, emotionally, physically) who rely on us. And just constantly being scared of the future, constantly spiraling into one black hole of self doubt and uncertainty to the other. It tells us to not always be the victim, but to phoenix our way out of the ashes and rebuild ourselves, without the fear, this time.
Shahzad speaks about the Laws of the universe, of our lives, of our world. Of cause and effect, of creation, of humility, of growth, responsibility, connection, the here and now, of change and of significance and inspiration.
The next chapter was a punch to the gut: Happiness. When was the last time you were truly happy with something? Or what is your entire idea of happiness? Have your ideals of joy and being happy been smeared by the society’s expectations of you? Of a regular adult? Finish this diploma and you’ll be happy, get a job and you’ll be happy, get married, have kids, grand kids, great grand kids and you’ll be happy. You’ll be happy when you’re dying and everyone around you is smiling. WHY can’t you be happy now? In this exact moment? Why can’t you pause and breath and take a minute to count five things you should be grateful for in life, right now? That you should be happy about? Look around you. Be happy.
“finding your passion and finding the love of your life are exactly the same thing, and they will give you the exact same feeling in your heart and in your gut”
Now imagine a life without ever having found the love of your life. Bland? Boring? Disappointing? That’s what it feels like to not be passionate about something, either. We’re just constantly stuck in such a rut, in life, that we lose grip of our own realities. Maybe you’ve set a goal for yourself. Degree at 20, job at 21, get married at 25, kids, and once they’re out of the house, doing their own thing, you’ll finally pick up that golf bag that’s been gathering dust. Or the guitar whose strings broke 2 years ago, but you didn’t have time to get it fixed, let alone learn it. What’s the guarantee you’ll live till 40? Or till the day after tomorrow? What’s the guarantee that your life will turn out to be how you planned it?
I want to share some of Shahzad’s own words to get you to believe in yourself, to dare to be you, to wake up tomorrow with a whole new perspective on life.
“allow yourself to go from being your greatest critic to being your greatest supporter. you might be surprised at all the great things that are simply waiting for your permission to happen.”
Finally, the book closes with a chapter called Being You. Shahzad tells us that we really don’t need to seek permission from anyone else to be ourselves, unapologetically. That our lives should not be wasted into living for someone else, according to someone else. That we require everything that we need to make a change NOW and to sustain it.
I have the sudden urge to go give Shahzad a giant hug, after having read this book. And while I can’t, because that would creep him out, let me send immense amounts of good vibes to evryone out there, because I’m bustling with them, after having read this book!
You can get your copy here: