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“The way you present yourself to the world is the way the world will receive you and your message”


Growing up my Mom would always tell us stories about her glory days at Summer Camp. She would regale us with tales of midnight swims and cute boys and always, in awe, she would talk about Rocky Ross. The queen bee, the alpha girl, the one they all wanted to emulate. One day she found old snap shots, all faded and frayed with time, but there was Rocky Ross. My sisters and I chuckled. THIS young girl with the sweaty upper lip and frizzy hair couldnt be the “It” girl of the legends.This was the girl who took on dares to jump into lakes, this was the one the boys fought over, this was the winner of camp cutie contests three years in a row? We were expecting Mom to chuckle along with us, to say something about how she had remembered her much differently. But my Mom, now in her 50s, a grandma, held up this photo of a very average 15 year old girl, and what did she say? “Wow Rocky Ross really was amazing!”

It was years later I heard this advice given to a student of mine.

“The way you present yourself to the world is the way the world will receive you and your message”

Suddenly I realized the power Rocky Ross held over my Mother, and probably all the young girls who bunked with her in the 1960s. Rocky Ross believed in herself. And therefore everyone else believed in her too. 

Sometimes life feels like an obstacle course in stripping away our self confidence. Circumstance, criticism, and comparisons seem to collude and bring us down. We need to SHiFT our perspective. It starts with our relationship to ourselves. From that place and that place only can we present our meaning and message to others.  

Here are some ideas:

Present yourself in the present – its not about what you did or did not do yesterday and as important as goals are its not about what you are going to do tomorrow. It is about how you show up right here right now for those around you. Put the phone down, make eye contact. Find your truth, don’t overextend yourselves. That old saying  you are either NOW HERE or NOWHERE if actually very accurate. When you find yourself connected to your breath and body in the moments as you live them, you will live them in a fuller richer way. 

Confidence is a Gateway “Drug” – there was an old 1980’s television campaign in the height of the “just say no to Drugs” era – Get high on yourself! It sparked some controversy that we were an indulgent “me” generation. Now in 2016, I think we all recognize that self care and self love is the only way to properly administer care and love on those around us. When we are plagued with insecurities, we often limit ourselves. I once didnt go to a party for a friend of mine because I was so embarrassed of my appearance at the time. She told me after the party that it was ridiculous of me to think that people would be looking at me when it was her party! Insecurity is sinister, and like second hand smoke, it hurts those around you.  Confidence, however,  is contagious in the best way possible. With confidence comes connection and courage. So don’t think of it as self indulgence, think of believing in yourself as the best way to give back to your friends and family. 

Perfect Imperfections – gone is the era of hiding our so called flaws under pancake make up botox or baggy clothes. As our fearless leader Jenn says OWN IT! We need to ROCK our individualism. We need to accentuate the attributes that make us unique. My mom thought it was “neat” that Rocky Ross perspired on her upper lip! What about celebrating the crows feet by your eyes? What about embracing the shape of your tush? On that bike we turn obstacles into opportunities, resistance into revelations, so its time to SHiFT  the way we view our “imperfections”. . . love ALL OF YOU. 

Message in a Bottle – How will the world receive you and your message? Well part of that lies in defining your message in the first place. Our iRiDE campaign revealed some pretty amazing stories by our SHiFT community. Riding for mental health, or for the love of a country. . .the iRiDE message is not too far away from your iLiVE message. We all have a sense of purpose and taking a moment to reflect on that that can be vital. The vision board is an awesome tool as is journaling.Life is mostly measured in moments and not minutes. Make each moment count, imbue it with meaning and be proud of your message. Sharing your message doesnt mean pontificating or preaching, it means leading by example. Holding your head up high and shining your light. 

“The way you present yourself to the world, is the way the world will receive you and your message”

In my family of six kids, we call the above mantra,  the “Rocky Ross Syndrome”. My mom lost touch with her decades ago, but Rocky’s rockstar impression has left an indelible mark on the way my siblings and I viewed self awareness.  Little does she know how far reaching her effect has been. Lets not underestimate the effect we could have on the world. SHiFT your perspective and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

Written by Instructor Emily Webster – check out her SHiFT B no leader board classes on Wednesdays 9:15