‘Nobody can be you, but you; so show up and show out’: Bevy Smith

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Pop culture queen Bevy Smith did not always feel the same way about the ‘dream life’ she was living. In a recent TED Talk, she delivered some hard-won advice about authenticity, confidence, success, and why “life becomes greater later” if you put in the work and effort. Being referred to as a “very late bloomer” by Chris Rock, Bevy does not take hurt or offense, but rather celebrates it.

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Adults often find themselves in a transitional stage in life, wherein they think they are too old to change. Bevy thinks otherwise. At the age of 38, she was already a successful fashion advertising executive, jet-setting to fashion shows and receiving free designer clothes. “And, you know, it was everything that I ever wanted it to be, and then one day I realised I was only pretending to be happy. But I couldn’t blow up my good life in my prime earning years, right? Wrong,” she said.

There are two important points Bevy’s mother instilled in her which can help you to get closer to yourself.

Do not settle – Going against the status quo makes people around you uncomfortable. While people want to compliment your confidence, most of them seem to pass silent judgments about it. Bevy said a parent needs to talk to their children about real life and make sure they understand the virtues. There is beauty in aging and when you believe it for yourself, you can keep your confidence intact and make life-changing decisions. “She was always proud of her age. As a matter of fact, she believes you may not tell your age, but your hands and your neck will. So make peace with aging, or prepare for an entire wardrobe of gloves and turtlenecks,” she said about her mother who helped her feel most comfortable in her skin.

Shift your spirit – You may radiate different personas and it can put you under a lot of pressure to keep up with them. Sometimes all it takes is acceptance of who and how you really want to be. As the old saying goes, change is the only constant and it took Bevy 55 years to get here, to have a tell-it-like-it-is approach to life, always dosed with a spoon of love.

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