How I Overcame Self-Doubt and Shyness to Become Fiercely Passionate and Confident

By Natalie Rivera

A few weeks ago, I was asked a question that really blew my mind! The question was “why do I get out of bed every day?” When I heard my own internal answer, I was blown away by what I heard myself thinking. My short answer was:

“Because I can’t help it. I have an unwavering knowing that life is meant to be more.”

I decided to sit down and really clarify my “big why”. What is that that powerful inner calling that makes me so over-the-top passionate and ambitious? People who know me have often asked me why I’m so obsessed with what I do and no matter how many times I’ve written a “mission statement” or manifesto I’ve never quite captured my own personal fire.

I had been noodling the idea of starting a Vlog, and the inspiration from this question was just what I needed to finally get started. I launched my first video, sharing my full answer to “why I get out of bed every day.” My answer is at the end of this article, and you can also view it at:

But the truth is, I didn’t publicly publish this impassioned anthem because I was inspired… I did it because it scared the hell out of me. You see, my entire life I’ve held myself back.

I was embarrassed by my own passionate nature.

I felt like my ambition and unwillingness to settle alienated me. No one understood me. I felt like I lived in an alien world. So, I dumbed myself down; I made myself think small to avoid finding myself alone. I had big dreams and idealistic visions of life, but the world around me showed no evidence that it could be a reality. I did not believe that how I wanted to live was even possible, and so I did what most people do, I lowered my expectations to avoid being disappointed… by people… by myself… and by the world. I allowed my dreams to fade into oblivion.

I now find myself at this place of personal empowerment and faith in my competency and the infinite possibilities of creating a life that’s truly fulfilling and expansive. Yet, sometimes I still feel empty and that life is epicly pointless.

Sometimes I envy my own former ignorance.

If I didn’t understand human potential I wouldn’t feel such a compulsion to seek it. I’d be satisfied with less.

I tried to submit to life in a box and failed miserably. I couldn’t handle the corporate world. It took me 8 years to get a 4-year degree. The American Dream made me gag. I sucked at the traditional life but feared going rogue. I resisted making the change, yet my inquisitive and tenacious nature made this impossible. I abandoned my sinking ship and cliff dove into authentic living. I went from fearing change, like everyone else, to thriving off it. Today I’m a super grower!

I evolve so quickly that I don’t even recognize who I was a few months ago!

I went from feeling shy and obsessively seeking approval, so much so that I feared calling to order pizza, to being confident and bold. I went from being chronically emotionally susceptible to others’ emotions and having the ills of the world crack me open inside to being able to remain grounded even during extreme emotional situations. I went from being mortified in the spotlight to speaking publicly and teaching my deepest passions.

Total transformation truly is possible if you open your mind to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, all the limitations you thought existed within yourself and within your life are WRONG.

If you struggle with self-confidence or question your worth… if you know you’re not living up to your potential but you’re afraid of what it would mean to live differently… if you don’t believe you can have the life you really want… I UNDERSTAND.

I have struggled my whole life with the dichotomy of my soul’s call to live on the leading edge and my monkey brain’s instinct to protect me from uncertainty and failure by playing it safe.

But I’ve learned how to gag the monkey—whether that means tuning it out or stuffing a banana in its mouth. And, I invite you to join in my other articles and videos as I continue to reveal how I took back control of this persistent primate and took control of my destiny.

Why do I get out of bed every day?

Because I can’t help it. I have an aching, a longing deep within me to perpetually reach greatness. I have an unwavering knowing that life is meant to be more.

Because the status quo makes me gag, and I see mediocrity as squandered potential. I would rather live in a cardboard box than settle for anything less than living an extraordinary life. I was create to be free and to live deeply.

Because I am enraptured with drinking in the sweet nectar of life and I don’t want waste a drop. I have a fire in my belly; an insatiable hunger, for aliveness, clarity, expansion, and exploration.

Because my decisions determine my destiny. I am determined to do whatever it takes to develop the grit and discipline to deliberately create my life. I’m committed to mastering my mind and emotions and honoring that my power lies in the dominion of choice.

Because I will fulfill my purpose or die trying. It’s not that I don’t have fear—I just do it anyway. I am unapologetically passionate. I am tenacious, audacious, unstoppable. When I’m not motivated, I dream bigger. My life is mine—I own it, and I don’t apologize.

Because I want to empower others to stop playing small; to ignite their passions and live a life on fire. I feel a responsibility to be a living example of human potential. I want to prove that when you deprogram from the matrix of limited beliefs and take 100% responsibility for your personal narrative, you’ll find yourself living a life that is more magnificent than you could have ever possibly imagined.

Are YOU ready to let go of your limitations and silence your inner primate?

Are you ready to finally be honest with yourself about what FEEDS you, what DRIVES you, and what you REALLY want to get out of this life?

Start by asking yourself this question: “Why do I get out of bed every day?”

If your initial answer is, “because I have to pay the bills” or “because I have obligations”, then I encourage you to DIG DEEPER.

  • What keeps you hanging onto hope in your darkest moments?
  • What promise does life offer that makes it all worth it?
  • What gives life meaning?

If you allowed yourself to release all limitations and go for what you TRULY desire in life, why would you get out of bed then?

My path of rabid entrepreneurship and fervent independence is not for everyone—but each person contains a fire within that, if unleashed, will ignite the light of their unique potential.

It’s time to light that match!


Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. After a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit


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