I’ve lied to myself for the past 30 years about different things in my life. The sad truth is that I didn’t realize that I was lying to myself because I was ‘sleeping’ all my life. I lied about my age, I lied about what success is, basically I created fake stories in my head and I believed them. Recently I had a major break through and I realized that I projected an image of myself that was something I wasn’t. I’m not as successful as I thought I was and I got into a rat race that I created for myself. I discovered that I lied to myself 2 weeks ago when I attended The Infinite Man Summit in Bulgaria, Sofia.

During those two weeks I did a lot of things that I thought I would never do; I called my step father after 13 years and apologised to him and thanked him for everything that he did for me when I was a teenager. I finally forgave my mother and told her the truth that I never forgave her for beating the shit out of me. There are a lot of things that I didn’t quite understand and I didn’t fully understand until recently. The most important lessons that I learned was to accept myself as I am and to think again how I define success. I could probably write a whole book on the truth and accepting myself so let me share with you the most important things I learned in this article.

When I was 7 years old I moved to Cyprus. I didn’t know any Greek and my English wasn’t very good either, and I remember that I tried to fit in so desperately that as soon as I learned Greek I started acting like a Cypriot, my behaviour started to change. I was ashamed to tell people that I was born in Moldova (Russia) and my surname didn’t help. As soon as my step father tried to adopt me I was ‘happy’ that I could finally have a different surname. The adoption process didn’t go through because the welfare lady understood something that I didn’t know back then. Living with a strict mother helped me in so many ways but it didn’t help me with my low self esteem.

I always tried to please everybody, my friends, my parents, strangers every single person but deep inside I was craving for love, something that I never got from my parents. As I grew older my heart closed more and more and this drove me to lying to myself and other people about who I was. I lost sight of who I was, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t accept myself with my weaknesses because the world is amazing at reminding us that we have weaknesses, hey forget the world the whole marketing industry is built on telling people their weaknesses and selling more products. When people asked me where I’m from due to my surname (Novicov) I always said Cyprus but that I was born in Moldova. When they asked me about my parents I would say that my mum is Russian and my father lives in Montreal, Canada. I thought that by saying he lives in Canada I wasn’t actually lying by saying that he is not Russian; but the truth is that he lives in Montreal, Canada with his wife but he was born in Russia. Do you see all the  little lies I was telling? It’s ridiculous actually but I’m so fucking happy that I finally understand it and have started to accept myself.

I lied about happiness as well, I was telling people that was happy – which is partly true. I was happy and grateful every day but something was missing, something below the surface wasn’t clear yet. The truth is that following different business leaders around the world; GaryVee, Grant Cardone, Simon Sinek, Seth Godin and many others I thought that I had to act like them to be liked, I thought that IQD (my agency) had to make millions in revenue for me to be happy or for us to be ‘successful’. I was scared to tell clients the truth, to tell them that they need to sign a contract first, I was scared to tell them that our prices increased. I remember vividly three years ago I was at a clients house at 03:00am mentally and physically tired from all his bullshit but I didn’t open my mouth and say anything because I was scared of losing the account because they had a ‘large’ retainer. There are so many stories that I remember now where fear was in the way because I lied to myself.

This is me, with my ups and downs, with my weird Russian/Greek/English accent and with a lot of weaknesses and other issues that I’m working on. This is me running a marketing agency that believes in a better tomorrow, organising small Think Beyond Workshops and in the process of organising a large Think Beyond Conference for 200 people. This is me publishing my first Think Beyond book. This is me learning to make changes and push myself to do things that I’m scared of, this is me telling the pure truth. This is me being vulnerable and authentic, This is me telling you that you are worth it and you are amazing because the world and even some of our close friends can tell us otherwise. This is me writing this article with joyful tears in my eyes opening my heart to you.

Some people will hate me and some people will love me but you know what, we are not born to be liked, we are born to be respected. I don’t want to be the guy that goes around and doesn’t tell the truth to people so they will like him, I want to be a better Alex where I tell my honest opinion about something and accept the fact that some people will not want to hear the truth and some people will hate me for it. Writing this has made me understand even more that I want to live an authentic life and I don’t want to go back to that dark fake life ever again. This journey made me understand more about regrets.

The first step in making this huge change came when I looked myself in the mirror and just started to cry. That’s when I understood that everything was fake. I understood that society and our parents teach us so many things that are wrong, it’s just what’s accepted by society.  Who cares what other people think? I thought I didn’t care until I did the social freedom exercises; doing weird things in public to remove the fear of being judged. You can watch it on YouTube if you like. I understood that I shouldn’t spend my energy on things that don’t matter, that I shouldn’t spend my time getting angry or upset with people who are close to me because I want them to change as we are all on our own journey. I understood that being vulnerable and being able to share your true feelings is a huge strength in this world.

I encourage you to take the leap and move out of your comfort zone, it’s scary at first but the feeling is priceless. I’m more excited about life, I can say that I’m getting closer to living for today not yesterday or tomorrow. This weekend I made a decision to go and do skydiving next week, I want to do things that scare me every single day. The best way to make a massive change is to jump out your chair, count 5,4,3,2,1 and just do it. Say yes to life and most importantly say yes to authenticity. P.S I even edited my about me page!