LeBron James Owning His Authenticity

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Image from nydailynews.com

I’ve been thinking all morning about how to put this post together and it’s just not happening the way I think it should. So I’m just going to get over myself and share my thoughts on LeBron James’ decision to move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat, announced on ESPN last night. While I’m a huge fan of sports, this typically isn’t the forum for speaking out on sports deals and happenings. Here’s why last night’s announcement is different:

LeBron James owned his Authenticity last night.

James talked about how winning a championship was one of the most important things to him, and he had to do what was right for him in order to make that happen. He’s a perfect example of putting himself in alignment with what he wants for himself.

I know the fans in Cleveland are sad and disappointed (or angry) to see him go. I get it. And still, we all make choices.

We make choices to stay in jobs that no longer satisfy us. We make choices to take money over integrity. We make choices to sacrifice ourselves for others. And when we make these choices, we end up not living the life we want for ourselves.

When we make the choice to leave a job that no longer satisfies us, we open up a place in our soul that believes something better is out there for us…and that if we make some changes, we’ll be on our right path to that something better.

When we make the choice to keep our integrity over taking the money, we take a stand to believe in ourselves that anything is possible—and that money does not fix everything.

When we make the choice to live our lives as we want to live them, we live in our Authenticity. We own that piece inside of us that knows what we want, and show ourselves that we’re not living for someone else, but for ourselves.

When we make these choices, we put ourselves in alignment with the life we want. We take steps towards living the life we want. We do not trample on others simply because we made a choice for ourselves; we say, “Your life is yours, and mine is mine.”

These choices are often referred to as being selfish and careless, sometimes even ruthless. When we make choices that have our own best interests at heart—truly the best interests in living the best life possible for ourselves—it is selfish in the sense of honoring one’s self. These types of choices are full of care, full of wisdom, and full of integrity.

I’m not a citizen of Cleveland, so I can’t speak from the mindset of the Cleveland fan who’s having to adapt to the loss of a great sports player and (prior to July 8th) role model in their eyes, I can only speak from my own sports loving mind. It says, “Go, LeBron. Go be the best You you can be. Go win your championships, and be happy. You deserve it, after all…it’s your life, and I support you in that. Thank you for owning Your Authentic You.”

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  • Angela

    Disclaimers: I am not much of a sports fan and I live in Miami. I didn't even know what “the decision” was until hours before it happened. But I watched, and thank you, Dian, for articulating what I was thinking. I was inspired to listen to a man who appeared to be speaking from his heart, owning his goals and what he believes he has to do to achieve them. I cheered not his coming to Miami, but his authenticity and clarity.

  • Fair or not, we still hold these people to a higher standard, I guess because there's so much history involved in American sports.

    We want the fairy tale ending, which would have been LeBron winning in Cleveland, and are disappointed when that doesn't happen. We scoff and question his decision to seek a title elsewhere, as if we have the right. Maybe we do. Maybe we don't.

    I don't fault LeBron for leaving but many are questioning the manner in which he did so. The hype, the television show, the drama. Maybe like a band-aid (right off!) would have been a more considerate approach.

    You can tell his decision pained him but probably no more so than it did the millions that live in Cleveland.

    Authentic or not, he became instantly hated overnight.

  • Kat

    I'm not living in the US right now and so know nothing of this little drama except what I've read in my friend's Facebook statuses. 🙂 So skipping any opinion on that, I really appreciated what you wrote:
    “These choices are often referred to as being selfish and careless, sometimes even ruthless. When we make choices that have our own best interests at heart—truly the best interests in living the best life possible for ourselves—it is selfish in the sense of honoring one’s self.”
    When I hear that, I've learned that it means the other person doesn't think my decision or actions are in their best interest. It usually doesn't have to do with me at all!

  • Jan

    I also know nothing of the story you mention – not being a sports fan nor living in the USA. However I wanted to thank you for helping me reframe my recent decision to change my job. These words have really helped:

    “When we make the choice to leave a job that no longer satisfies us, we open up a place in our soul that believes something better is out there for us…and that if we make some changes, we’ll be on our right path to that something better.”

    I've been feeling something of a failure and that I've been repeating a pattern where I leave a job because I feel I'm not good enough. This is the second time. I tell myself that someone else will be better than me and that I am the wrong person and I view this as a failure. However what I miss in this is that I have worked hard and given what I had to give in these positions at that time, I've stuck at them far longer than they made me happy and it's time to move on. There is an element of truth in what I believe about someone else being right at that time to take my place and move things on however that's just healthy change isn't it? Other's will have their views on my performance and I will have my own views which need to be balanced with contructive learning points for growth. I know that I have done the right thing and this time I do feel that this is less of a failure and more of a wise and healthy decision with a bit of a leap into the unknown added for good measure.

  • “We scoff and question his decision to seek a title elsewhere, as if we have the right. Maybe we do. Maybe we don't.” We put professional athletes on such a pedestal that we believe our values become their values. And then when they don't follow our values system, they end up hated overnight. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying LeBron did everything right…it just brings to light that doing what we want for ourselves is going to put us in that “hated” category sometimes. We have to be okay with that in order to move forward. We can't expect to be liked by everyone, especially when we hold a different set of values than who we're “trying” to please.

    Great comment, thanks for contributing!

  • What a great point you bring out, Kat: “…it means the other person doesn't think my decision or actions are in their best interest. It usually doesn't have to do with me at all!” I would say 99% of the time it doesn't have to do with you at all. We project our own feelings onto just about everything we do (and most things others do) … I can't say whether or not it's a fault, but I do know it's called “being human”.

    Your learning is a key piece in being able to move forward. It's the understanding that you can only control what you do, think, and feel. Others will take it however they will, and that part is not your responsibility. your only responsibility is to act in your true best interest.

    Thanks so much for sharing that piece =)

  • It can be so easy to listen to that voice that's trying to tell you that you just didn't do “enough” and that's why you're a “failure”. And the truth is that we're all works in progress. No one's got it all figured out yet, no matter what they're trying to sell you. Great to see that you're believing that you've done the right thing and made your healthy decision. Sounds like you're in a present state of mind…the only state of mind we can move forward from!

    Thanks so much for sharing this here. Hope to see you back soon =)

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