My dad reached his hand across the table and put it on my arm and he said: “Shhh, someone might hear you.”
We were at a restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just me and him and his wife. And I get a little bit excited if you haven’t noticed when I’m talking, so I was gesturing. I was talking a little bit loudly. I was telling a story. I was happy and interested in what I was saying… and he was embarrassed by it. Because his daughter was loud and happy and joyful and had something to say.
And my mom? She was raised in Thailand and she taught me that children should be seen and not heard — that I should respect my elders, that I should be quiet.
So my whole family told me not to express who I was. They told me it was better to stay quiet. Not to rock the boat. My whole family said, “Don’t rock the boat, Marisa. Don’t rock the boat, Marisa. Don’t be so loud. Don’t be so happy.”
But, you know what?
That’s who I am!!!
So they were telling me not to be precisely who I am. They told me not to express when it’s my whole life. It’s the reason why I was born — to express.
So here’s the thing: You don’t need permission from anybody to be more of who you are. You have to give yourself that permission, because nobody can give it to you.
In fact everybody else around you — your parents, your siblings perhaps, even your partner and your friends — will tell you to zip it up. To be somebody else. To show that good game face. To pretend like you’ve got it all together. To hold back parts of yourself. When it’s those parts that make you who you are. That make you interesting and dynamic and someone that somebody wants to do business with, someone that someone wants to follow and connect with.
Because, guess what?
You’re who you are.
You’re not pretending in the same game that everybody else is pretending in. You are the actor in your own life, not in somebody else’s life. The very moment when you take off the mask, you put it on the shelf once and for all, and you say:
“Here I am. This is who I am. I’m not holding back. I don’t care what anybody else thinks. Because I must’ve been put on this earth to be who I am, because why else would I here?”
That’s the moment when you step forward and Be the Superhero to Your Tribe. Because the world needs to hear your message. The world is begging for you to express — all of it. Not just in words, but in how you’re being, how you’re saying what you’re saying.
Don’t let anyone reach across the table like my dad did that day and tell you to be quiet.
Because if you’ve got something to say, then you better say. Because who else is going to say it?
We’re all sitting around waiting for somebody else, anybody else to say the things that we’re thinking about. And in the meantime, life goes by and every single year that you spend not saying what you’re here to say, not being who you’re meant to be, not doing what you really want to do. You’re living somebody else’s life.
And when are you going to live your own? When are you going to do exactly what you were born to do?
Because I really want to see all of you.
You don’t need anybody else’s permission to express yourself. No one. Not a single person. Except yourself.
So I invite you to fully Live Your Message. To express it. To shout it to the hilltops. To sing: “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” The sound of your message.
Because when you do that. Oh my God, you become worth listening to. You become worth following. You become someone who’s sharable, but most of all someone who’s lovable.
How can people fall in love with you, if you’re not being YOU?
So that day in that restaurant in Santa Fe, I realized that this was the last time that I would ever let someone silence me.
And I’ve lived my life taking off the muzzle. I’ve lived my life speaking up for myself, for others. And I’ve lived my life encouraging others to speak up for themselves. Because that is how we change the world.
If you’re ready to express yourself fully in business and write your love letter to the world, then join us at our annual Message to Money Live event. Get your ticket here.
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Very impressive and inspiring. I fear what you are touting is directly applicable to what I personally am struggling with though. Sincere thanks and gratitude to you regardless.
Wow! Your videos always bring that lump in the throat, can totally relate and feel inspired by them!, Thank you Marisa!!!!
Great inspiring video Marisa!
Thank you Marisa, for sharing that very personal moment. By understanding fully, who you are, makes your message even more powerful and makes us feel we don’t have to walk in the shadow of others; we can stand in the light and be seen for who we truly are. As usual – right on cue ! X
Love to hear how Murray copes …. what a pocket rocket and Merry Christmas to ‘the team ‘..
YEAH!! You said it girl ! Your authentic gorgeous infectious self is bursting out of you and sharing with the world. Thank you for your generosity of spirit ! Muahxx
Hey how old were you, what year was that, and what restaurant?
I’m from Santa Fe, and we Santa Feans have a pretty deep connection to our town, especially the restaurants! So I’d love to know where you guys were.
Is that silly?
Probably! But indulge me! 🙂
PS: This message is so powerful! It’s a big challenge and calling to take that in. But so important! Thank you for . . . all of it. AP
Great video! Content and production. Inspirational! Thank you Marisa.
It said that to be successful in life is not depending on how smart or skilled you are but on how dately express what you desire to yourself fully without social norm bundage. To this day I still haven’t budge to put action on realize my dream. You are a young tiger with audacious courages to reach to your maximum achievement , to let the fire out. I admire you and also love to hear your more sharing.
It said that to be successful in life is not depending on how smart or skilled you are but on how dare you are to express what you desire toro the world fully without social norm bundage. I agree it completely. Unforunately to this day I still haven’t budged one step to put action on realizing my dream. You are a young tiger with audacious courages on reaching tyour maximum achievement , to let the fire out. I admire you and also love to hear your more sharing.
Well stated, some of us older folks with silencers culturally close, have learned to think out loud within, and sing etc. I’ve been told I have no volume control and asthma forced few words have been called ‘yelling’… so I explain the difficulty. VOICE is so many levels. With the repetition of advertising messages before purchases, we often need to listen to many people until we act. Your message is instantly recognized as vital. thank you, Marisa
What an inspiring message. Love it! Just had a conversation with my mom on that, how much she was shut down by her environment. I had a similar experience that is a trigger in my life. Keep doing what you are doing!