Jimn Kyles and David Winston discuss the topic of living an authentic life and the courage needed to reach one’s full potential. David is the founder and creator of the Winston Leadership Institute and author of “Authentic: The Confidence to be Yourself, the Courage to Release Your Greatness.”
David serves as a pastor at Living Word Christians Center and the international director of Bill Winston Ministries. He explains that it’s important to ask who have you been created to be as a means to finding one’s purpose in life. He believes that uniqueness is the key to discovering that purpose and that everyone has been created unique. He encourages listeners to have the confidence and courage to be themselves and reach their full potential.
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Jimn Kyles 0:00
If you’ve ever struggled with confidence or the courage to be yourself and reach your full potential, then you’re listening to the right episode of our podcast today. My name is Jimn Kyles, I am your host, and I’m so thrilled to be with you. Today I’ve got a special guest with me that I know you are going to enjoy as we talk about understanding how to be yourself, and the confidence to be unique and authentic. David Winston is joining me, let me tell you who he is. He is the founder and creator of the Winston Leadership Institute. He is the author of authentic, the confidence to be yourself the courage to release your greatness. David serves as a pastor at living word Christian Center, and the international director of Bill Winston Ministries. We are so thrilled to have you here today. David, welcome to the podcast. Thank you, Jimn. I’m glad to be here. Thank you for having me on. Oh, absolutely. I am so excited about this whole topic of being authentic and the courage to learn how to be yourself and the confidence to be yourself. It’s such a needed topic. So we’re so excited to have you here. You’re you just wrote a book about it. That’s right. That’s right. I mean, so it’s the title of the book authentic. I mean, come on. Anybody ever wanted to live an authentic life? They’re tuning into the right episode? Yeah, absolutely. And it’s, it’s a work that I’ve been working on for over seven years, about eight years now. And I’m glad to finally release it to the world. But the whole premise is that there’s greatness inside of each and every one of us. And I know a lot of us want to live a life of purpose. You know, a lot of times, people are spending many years, many decades, many dollars trying to discover what they can do. But what I really have found is that it’s the question of who before what, you know, who has has, have you been created to be who have you been designed to be? And I believe that that uniqueness is a way that helps us find our purpose in life, and that we’ve all been created unique. And there’s no reason to try to copy someone else, because there’s a lot of value in that uniqueness. Oh, absolutely. You know, I was just thinking through today as a society, and I’m thinking about those who are tuning in with us and joining us today, and we’re talking about the courage to be yourself. That’s a very difficult thing, because we have been conditioned in this society and generation like never before, to post your best, and hide the rest. And so there’s a pseudo false life that’s always being projected. And we don’t even recognize that it’s just a normal part of our life, to not be authentic. I mean, had tell me this in writing the book, were you able to discover?
Like the impact of that? I mean, how is that impacting? Do you see, of course, you wrote the book about it. But tell us about some of the impact of just a selfie generation and the social media generation and not being really authentic? What kind of problems is that presenting?
Unknown Speaker 3:19
Sure, well, you know, Psychology Today, they actually published a study, and it’s estimated that roughly 85% of people, adults and adolescents, they all are affected by low self esteem. So that’s most of people, that’s almost nine out of 10 people are affected by low self esteem. And what I found is that our self confidence impacts our self concept, that self concept is identity. So that identity is composed of memories, experiences, relationships, values, that’s our self, that sense of self. And so a lack of self confidence will start to degrade our identity, our self value, and even you know, as a, I think it’s Abraham Maslow, how we had the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right, and so at the very bottom up, have food and air and water, but at the very top, it’s not actually self esteem, self esteem is second to the top. But at the very top of self actualization, the realization of a person’s potential and the desire to become the most that one can be. And what I found is that when Self confidence is garnered from outside sources, it’s like, it’s almost like built on a sand, right? It’s like building a house on sand. And it’s something that won’t last and you need to continue to prop it up for it to be able to stand. But what they find is that when it comes from inside, it feels much more deserving and the results are given a higher place of value. And so that’s what this book is about. It’s about value. And that’s what authenticity is. It’s about valuing yourself without needing the inflated importance coming from other people.
Jimn Kyles 5:06
Wow. You know, I can imagine, you know, we just went through this global pandemic, and the things that people built their confidence on. I don’t know anybody who wasn’t shaken. You had a great work life balance. Well, all of that. I mean, it’s like crazy. If you had a great career, it probably changed your family, what I found do even where you had confidence, it really wasn’t that strong, you just weren’t aware of all the fault lines. In other words, I had people you know, as a pastor, I had people say, man COVID destroyed my marriage. Well, really what they mean was COVID exposed your marriage problems, because now I couldn’t stay busy in interacting outside and then just passing now actually had to deal with the lack of communication, the lack of skills that we developed. And so wow, it’s let me ask you this self esteem 85%. I mean, that is that is shocking. And then you said, the reality is, we’re finding our value outside and even our identity, a lot of people find their identity in what they do the external. I love what you’re talking about in this book, you know, I was reading chapter four, you gave me a copy of the book, and I love chapter four, but you talk about this idea of don’t abandon yourself. Can you explain what you mean by that? Because that sounds like there’s something inside, not outside?
Unknown Speaker 6:31
Sure. Sure. Absolutely. You know, a lot of times, and I think, especially as social media has grown so big and so huge. I mean, Jimn, I know, you remember, the first time Facebook came online, right? I remember when Facebook came online, and and then then we had Twitter and Instagram, and so on and so forth. And so it morphed into something that I think it was never intended to be right. It was never intended for somebody to develop their identity through what they posed to people who are strangers, right? It was never designed. And so what happens is, over time, we start to gravitate towards whatever makes us feel more significant, when it makes us feel more value makes us feel more important. Even if it’s toxic. Sometimes the temptation is to gravitate towards that thing. And we’ll start abandoning our true self right to be able to succumb to or adopt this fake or or synthetic self.
Jimn Kyles 7:31
Yeah, absolutely order to continue
Unknown Speaker 7:32
to keep that importance in that self esteem and that significance going and so what I talk about is don’t abandon yourself. I’m talking about getting back to who you are created to be. Yeah, yeah. Not going to that, you know, that that false person or that that synthetic image, but we’re going back to who you’ve been designed to be by the Creator. And, and I believe that that’s where most of the significance is held. And, you know, a friend told me this one day, I was going to, to meet some others. And I was kind of doing a sort of interview, I wanted to impress them. And I remember he told me, he said, well show up and be yourself. And I said, Okay, and so well, why are you saying that? He said, Well, if you show up and be yourself, and they like you, you don’t have to try as hard to continue to give them that fake thing that you show them the first time. Yeah,
Jimn Kyles 8:25
that’s so good. Yeah. Because you’re authentic to who you are. You’re not trying to put on a persona and trying to figure out what makes them happy and what pleases them. You know, it’s interesting, and I want you to come back to this idea, okay, if I’m listening, and I’m saying, Okay, you said, come back to your true self, what if I don’t know who my true self is? What? How do I do? Do you? Can you give me some things? Or one thing? Or how can I say, hey, this, this is, I don’t know, if I know who I am? How can I start the path to discover my identity? Who am I? Sure,
Unknown Speaker 8:54
sure. Absolutely. And I think it first starts with understanding what makes you tick, you know, what you value and how you see the world, your passions, your preferences, and those things even sometimes those things that frustrate you can tell you a story about you. Yeah, you know, not not everybody is frustrated when things are out of order. Some people it’s almost like they seem to thrive in the middle of disorder, right? They got everything everywhere in the room, and they’re like, yeah, it’s this is great. And somebody else comes in, he’s like, This is crazy. Like, I can’t even think, Well, that tells you something about yourself. And what I you know, even in the book, I actually do some exercises where I have people start to write down start to document start to journal, some of these things about themselves that they may have never thought about, they may have taken for granted, or they may have just not paid close attention to because it starts to tell us a story about who we are, what we like what we gravitate to and really what what kind of maybe burns in our hearts, what really upsets us. There’s my Be things in the world that really upset you. But instead of just saying, Well, you know that that’s, you know, that’s just the problem that I can’t worry about, start to understand why does it upset you? You know, why does maybe homelessness upset you? Is it? Is it the fact that you really feel like people should be taken care of you wish you could take care of them? Is it something that you feel like, is is a hospitality thing? Or you don’t like anybody going without, you know, start to mine out? What does that mean for you? Because a lot of times that can tell us about who we are, and ultimately, what we’re supposed to be doing.
Jimn Kyles 10:36
That’s good. When it sounds like design reveals destiny. You know, I say that often, all the time and often. And so what we’re uncovering it really is building blocks, you know, and I talk about this in my book, it’s the building blocks of life, because identity here, here’s one, if you’re listening, I would say yes to all of that. But even answering a question as simple as who am I? You know, when I uncovered my identity and started the process, it was in 2003 is 20 years ago. And that’s what I write about in the book. I didn’t even know the power of what I was doing. I’ll never forget the frustration a lady told me, she said, we’re going to go she said, we’re going to go on a treasure hunt. And she said, we’re going to uncover something that is more valuable than you could ever imagine. And she’s well broke off into groups. And that she said, there’s a piece of paper and it’s got just one simple question on it. All you got to do is answer the question. Well, I had lost my restaurant I had had been in foreclosure and multiple properties. I was in a season where I was faithful, but walking through the fire, and so I was angry with God, I had done everything right. But what God did was he switched seasons me and he helped me to uncover who I was apart from what I did. And so I felt like a failure, even though because I was losing everything. And I forget the question, and I was mad when I read it is who are you? And I thought that was a stupid question. What do you mean, who am I? I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a married man I’m in the lady said, No, that’s what you do. And I said, What do you mean, who am I? She said, Well, who are you? And what I began to realize is, when we introduce ourselves, we introduce our name and what we do. Yep. And God is not impressed by either. He has a design that He created you with. And the power comes when you uncover who am I? And what, when you when you because here was one of my identity statements. I’m a discipline man full of character and integrity focused on God, I can tell you, I uncovered that when I didn’t have discipline when I was not focused on God when I did not. And then all the passions of what I love it, it all kind of sorts my identity, and you begin to uncover, and that identity will hold you fast in the middle of the storm, and even lead you to what you were even talking about the purpose? Like, what, what because you said something so great. You talked about problems that someone might experience or see that others don’t. And I love the thought that if it bothers you, you’re probably called and created to be a solution to that. Because that don’t bother everybody. Right. And that’s one of the things I loved about your book you were talking about is really uncovering how God creates you. Because that’s the power that positions you where God wants you. Yes, absolutely. When I love that, tell me a little bit about, you know, discipline in the waiting room. It was I think it was chapter five, because we’re uncovering our identity, we’re uncovering the things that bother us the things that make us come alive, we’re, we’re on a treasure hunt. Now start to uncover that. Does that mean instantly I go to where I’m supposed to be and what I think I’m called to do.
Unknown Speaker 13:46
Now, wouldn’t that be great if all of us can instantly go to exactly what we found, right, that we’re good at? Or we’re passionate about? Can you imagine how you would immediately flood the Amazon market? I mean, but that’s not how things are, you know, and I know the popular saying, you know, we live in a microwave culture, right, where people want things now. And and I think that the algorithm on tik-tok doesn’t necessarily help that cause. Because you know, you can put up something and not have a big following at all. And all of a sudden, 2 million people have watched it, it’s trending data die. And if we’re not careful, we’ll let that kind of thinking seep down into our subconscious to make us feel entitled to success. Wow, that just because I posted something or just because I did this once. Why isn’t everybody buying it? Or why can I make it here do this or make it big? But the thing that I’m always reminded about, Jimn, is that a lot of people who have been successful in their field or industry, a lot of them have been doing what they were doing for years. Say that they made it big. That’s right. For years they were Making music for years they were practicing their craft for years. They were doing this doing that. And then what happened was they happen to get an opportunity to maximise on what they had mastered.
Jimn Kyles 15:12
Wow, wow, that’s powerful. So that again, they had
Unknown Speaker 15:15
an opportunity to maximise on what they had mastered. Yeah,
Jimn Kyles 15:19
yes, you listen, and that’s that’s gold right there. That’s right. But you had mastered it. Yes. So there’s discipline in the waiting room. It’s like, man, you know, I’m reminded of the story of David in the Bible. You know, he was anointed king. But could you imagine David in today’s culture, he’d be like, Alright, I need to be instafamous. already. I was annoying. Absolutely. And hear me even a blue checkmark. Ready? Give me the check mark, um, let me monetize it, you know. Yeah. But the thing that I find interesting, and I talk to a lot of to all the leaders that I get to mentor in the people and I say it often is, David didn’t go looking even for the palace. Once he was anointed, he stayed faithful in the field. Every time God found him, he was faithful in the field when he was anointed, he was faithful in the field, when it and this is, I think you talked about the Tik-Tok generation and the instafamous. And here’s what I think if we’re not careful, a generation is going to rise up and say, I’m ready to go slay Goliath. David never went to slay Goliath. David killed a lion and a bear in the field, and didn’t even have to it was his father’s that just proved he took the ownership of what he was doing. And his father sent him on an assignment to feed his brothers. So imagine that he was a, he was an Uber Eats driver. And happened to get caught in the moment of being faithful of driving that Uber Eats, that put him in a position to slay Goliath. And I think too many people are trying to pick a fight with a giant, but they’ve never slayed a lion or a bear.
Unknown Speaker 16:53
And, Jimn, you’re so right on, I actually talk about this in the book, because I talk about that story of David and Goliath. Because the only way that David could get victory against the Giant was to be to grow in obscurity, should be able to master what his craft was in obscurity. And, you know, back then, in those times, shepherds often used slings and stones as the primary weapons. And sometimes if they got good enough, they were be used in battle, they were called slingers. And so the way that David can defeat all these beasts was because he learned how to be an experienced slinger in the midst of obscurity while he’s out there keeping sheep. And that’s the one thing that was needed to defeat Goliath, even in the midst of hundreds of 1000s of trained soldiers. He had the thing that set Israel free,
Jimn Kyles 17:44
he mastered his craft, he mastered his craft in obscurity and obscurity when when nobody was looking. And I think that’s where the character and integrity can be bypassed by the highlights of social influence and media. It’s like, where’s the character, like, show me the back end of their life? Are they, you know, because then the, here’s what I also believe, too, I think the enemy will put you in a place of prominence before your character will be able to keep you. And where we see it as a fast track to success. God sees it as a fast track to failure, because you want to liability, you’re not gonna stay there. So that, you know, it’s so important. And then it’s just the discipline of saying, I’m not moving in you and I talked a little bit about the, you know, there’s a whole trend and it was the Harvard Business Review, talked about the great resignation, and where we’ve got a nation full of people that are all resigning. And I’m not saying that I think it’s bad or good. I think some people needed to resign. They’re in toxic environments. But I could tell you, there’s been moments where I wanted to resign, and it was like, God said, No, don’t resign, stay. That’s where I’ve called you. And so the faithfulness of doing it when you didn’t feel like people validated you when you didn’t feel like anybody saw you when you didn’t know if it was making a difference, and the tenacity and the grit to say, I’m not coming off of this, regardless. And that’s what builds that the character to stay where, you know, God has created you to be and where he wants you to go, Hey, let me do this as we were wrapping up at towards the podcast, but you were talking about confidence and courage to be your real self, your authentic self, can you give us give us some steps, some tips, I’m listening, it’s resonating. I want to be authentic identity. Can you give us a few give me some tips and steps if I’m listening that I could walk away with and this time i will build my confidence and the courage to be myself my authentic self?
Unknown Speaker 19:38
Sure. Well, I first think that it starts with the most important story that you’re hearing, which is the story that you’re telling yourself about yourself. It starts with the narrative first. And I think that and I know a lot of times this has become very popular in culture, but it does work. The I Am statements. Oh, yeah. I think that as we discover who we are the I am statements help us to be a catalyst to push us forward. You know, I, I wrote this book and this is my first solo book. But I didn’t feel like much of an author before. And you know, Jimn, I’ve actually been making a statement I have, you know, some declarations that I say, when I say that I am a gifted author. That’s one of my my declarations that I say, years before I ever wrote a book, I might have been in the midst of trying to write some stuff, but years before I released it, that’s what I had to say about myself. And I think the first thing is, what are you saying about yourself? Maybe if I could back up just a second. I think even before I get to those statements, I have to stop devaluing myself. Oh, that’s good. I have to stop wishing I was, yeah, I have to stop wishing I was someone else? Well, because the quickest way to devalue something special is to compare it to something else, right? I have to start taking pleasure and pride in my uniqueness, hey, maybe I’m not like him. But I’m like me. That’s right. And, and so starting with those declaration statements, I think is first also I think, putting yourself in position where potential could come out. And what I mean by putting yourself in position is, you just talked about it, things like work or school or projects or different things at different endeavors that we’re in, sometimes they become hard or taxing. And our first thought is maybe to be evasive, right to leave to try to get out. But what I say in the book is that until pressure is applied potential remains hidden. Wow. And that’s great until pressure is applied potential remains hidden. Oh, that’s great. And potential is hidden ability. I like to say it’s unused success and hidden greatness. And you can always do more than you think you can do. You have to put yourself in an environment and in situations that actually draw out that greatness inside of you that put a demand on you to do more than what you feel like you can do. Now, I’m not trying to include or encourage anybody to suffer burnout or, or overload themselves. But you know, sometimes Jimn, we have situations or projects or things that are before us that we think that we don’t qualify for. But what I’m here to encourage you to do is, hey, get enrolled in that class or, or go back to school or, you know, take that promotion or volunteer for that project, or whatever else it might be. There are some things I believe that God will bring to our doorstep. But it’s our job to say yes, we’ll take the
Jimn Kyles 22:39
challenge. Well, I love it, you know, diamonds are formed under pressure. Absolutely. Oh, at some point, you’ve got to allow what’s in you to be under pressure. And so let me just kind of rephrase a couple of things that I’m hearing. So I got to change the narrative, I got to identify. And I talked about it in my book, The subconscious sabotage the things that I’m saying about myself, even if I don’t even know if I’m saying about So identify where, what do I think about myself? What do I What? How would I describe myself? And so understanding the narrative, and then changing that narrative into who’s what’s inside of me. So you felt like there was a book in you? So I am an an author? And how did you describe it? Well, I’m
Unknown Speaker 23:19
a gifted author.
Jimn Kyles 23:20
I’m a gifted author. And so that goes back to even with me in my I am statements way back 20 years ago, I am a discipline man, well, I didn’t feel discipline of character and integrity. I didn’t feel like I had character and integrity, focused on God, I wouldn’t necessarily focus on God. And you know, so, so powerful, because that comes from within, it’s answering that question I am, and then letting that be who you become, through your actions, even though you’re already that right now. And so a mistake doesn’t define you who I am defines me. And so I love that. So then the I am statements, and then allowing yourself to live under some pressure, especially in a generation. And I have seen this more and more, where people are like, I just don’t feel pressure. I’m like, where did this come from? Like, we feel pressure all the time. If you don’t do anything great, or anything of significance or anything of impact. The last thing you want to do is get out from within, from underneath the pressure. Pressure is what refines pressure is what brings clarity and focus and it takes that lump of coal into a diamond and we just can’t be afraid to fail. So So and then what else? Is there anything else on that? That so that’s great. What about this? What about getting around people who will encourage you in the journey?
Unknown Speaker 24:37
Yes, you took it right out of my brain. Like that was the next thing I was gonna say is I was gonna say your environment and your environment isn’t just the location that you’re at, but who you’re around and what you’re around. And I believe that for anybody to flourish, you have to be in the right environment. You know, even plants have to be planted in the right environment. I can’t take certain plants and plant them up here in Chicago because we have a true winter, you know, 28 degrees outside right now. And so some plants will die. We don’t have palm trees out here in Chicago, because this is not the right environment for them. And I believe sometimes that we can get into environments that might be toxic and hindering our growth, whether the environment itself, or maybe people that are not feeding us a positive affirmation, but maybe trying to tear us down or might be critical. And so it’s important to really get that, that encouragement and that affirmation, that in times where you’re struggling or you’re low, you have somebody next to you, that’s telling you, hey, remember who you are. Remember what’s inside of you, you can do it. Keep going, let that potential come out. It’s really critically important.
Jimn Kyles 25:47
Wow, well, I love it. And I’m so excited to have your book release out. I’m sure by the time people are listening to this, it’ll already be out. Tell them the name of the book, tell them where they can find it, tell them how to get in touch with you.
Unknown Speaker 25:59
Absolutely. The name of the book is called authentic, the confidence to be yourself the courage to release your greatness and, and it’s hitting stores worldwide. It’s already hit stores, you know, February 21. And so we can
Jimn Kyles 26:14
find, what does that? I said, Yeah, come on. That’s right. Go get it right. That’s
Unknown Speaker 26:17
right. Get it Get it right now. And so Amazon, you can go to Amazon and find it you can go to my website, David s winston.com/authentic. You can get it there. Or you can go to our ministry website, Bill winston.org In order your copy there or it’s wherever books are sold Barnes and Noble and all the other different places.
Jimn Kyles 26:37
Well, I’m super excited you sent me the digital copy. I can’t wait to get a physical copy. David Winston, thank you for being with us today. If you enjoyed the podcast, I am going to ask you to do a few things for me number one, would you subscribe? If you’ll hit the subscribe button the content will come directly to you each and every week right to wherever it is that you consume your content. Second thing is share it would you find someone that you think would benefit from today’s message and share it with them just help them become their authentic self. And then review it of course reviews on the podcast. Absolutely help us continue to get the word out. We’re so grateful for many of you that continue to rate and review the podcast and all the positive feedback. We are so grateful also if you’d like a copy of my book, you can go to Jimnkyles.com It is out we’ve been out for a couple of months now. Thank you for helping us we hit number one new book on Amazon in five categories and so it is at tremendous success super excited about the impact and grateful for each and every one of your support. You can also go to Amazon, you we have the digital Kindle version, we have the the audible version and of course you can buy the print version as well. So grateful to be a part of this journey with you can’t wait to be back with you next week. Until next time, keep moving your life forward. Bye bye