A Podcast That Helps You Answer, Who Am I?
Being that I took a while to get to a more purposeful place of living, I am ECSTATIC when someone starts to figure it out earlier in life.
At 22 years old, Alexandra Cadiz is coming in hot all the way from Seattle with her AWESOME podcast, Be Real.
I’ve had the sincerest pleasure of being a guest on Alex’s Be Real and no WONDER she has such a dedicated following—it’s like chatting with your tuned-in, positive pal who’s walking this journey with you. Who WOULDN’T want to listen to that?
Plus, her episode line up is SICK. She's got a radio rolodex of inspiring peeps from fashion designers to filmmakers to ladies in tech and other popular podcasters.
I was curious about this vocal visionary of the Interwaves. Here, our conversation about how Alex chose who she WAS instead of who she thought she SHOULD be, why authenticity is important, and what it’s like taking a risk for what you know is right.
Generally, great things start from a personal journey. Was there a life experience you had that prompted the creation of Be Real?
Growing up I was an over-achieving perfectionist who set ridiculous standards for myself. I imagined becoming the high-powered CEO of an international architecture firm, traveling the world, wearing a power-suit every day and designing the next coolest, shiniest shopping centers and skyscrapers. It wasn’t until this August that I realized the dream I had identified with my whole life was driven largely by my ego and other people’s definitions of success.
For the first time ever, I sat down with myself and asked, Is this what you really want? Are you committing to a career because of what other people think and because it’s a guaranteed path to ‘success’?
It took some serious getting real with myself, and a number of breakdowns to realize that no, that was not what I wanted at all. I discovered what I really needed was to connect with young people who had not followed a conventional path but were doing inspiring things, creating value in the world and living meaningful lives. So, I started Be Real as a vehicle to not only do that, but also spread the message that we all need to get a little more real with ourselves if we really want to be happy.
What did you set out to create when you started Be Real?
I saw my generation feeling lost and struggling with the pressures of becoming ‘successful’ but not really knowing what that means. I saw people major in things they didn’t care about because it would guarantee them a well-paying job, and doing everything they were ‘supposed to do’ but never really questioning why.
I was guilty of this myself, that’s why my mission with Be Real is to encourage Millennials to get real with themselves and ask the hard questions: Who am I? What are my values? What do I really want in life?
I think we so often turn to the Internet or other people for answers and don’t realize that if we just listen to our own intuition and get to know ourselves a little bit more the answer is there – you just have to discover it.
When did you know you were really on to something great?
I’m still figuring that out! But I think when you’re doing something that you believe in 100% and putting out a message so close to your heart, you just feel it in your bones. Even when I was conceptualizing Be Real and hadn’t launched it yet, working on it gave me so much energy and I really felt like it could have an impact in some way – even if just one person listened and resonated with the message.
What has been the biggest surprise you've encountered as you developed your platform?
How much just being honest, vulnerable and telling your story can impact someone else. I have had so many people reach out to me to share their own stories, tell me that they like the show and thank me for what I’m doing. It’s crazy! Every time I get a message like that, I’m surprised, delighted and humbled.
Why is authenticity such an important part of your life?
I’ve spent most of my life building my self-esteem around a dream that was constructed from other people’s expectations. Realizing that has given authenticity a whole new meaning and significance to me. I want to be confident and happy with myself because of who I am now, not some ideal of who I should be. So I think when you’re being authentic, you are embracing who you are – flaws and all. That is something I still struggle with, but strive to do every day.
What's a lesson you've learned from one of your interviews that really stuck with you?
I learn something from every interview! It’s hard to pick just one, but something I’ve taken away from all my interviews is the fact that everyone I talk to is just like me. They’re a regular person who wanted something more in life and set out to create it. Every one of them struggled with self-doubt and fear, but they followed their intuition and did it anyway. Remembering that helps me take action and move forward in my own journey.
What are you looking forward to in 2016?
So many things! I quit my 9-5 and I am spending a few weeks just focusing on Be Real full time before figuring out what’s next. I want to get to know my audience better and find out how to deliver more value to them. I also want to expand the website to include a blog and other resources that can help my listeners in their own journeys and transitions. Personally, 2016 is about exploring my other interests besides architecture and following my intuition. This is the first time in my life I am taking a risk and veering off “the path,” so it’s a little scary but very exciting!!
Coffee, tea or green juice?
Green tea or green juice! Wellness and self-care has become a huge priority to me over the past year. I believe that what you put into your body directly affects what you get out of it so I’ve found that eating a plant-based diet works best for me. I also try to exercise for at least 30 minutes every morning and every night I go over what I was thankful for during the day.
Single and loving it, reveling in a relationship or Tindering?
I’ve been in a relationship for almost three years and it’s been amazing. My boyfriend is my biggest supporter and always keeps me grounded because he never takes my BS!
Other than your own, what other podcasts do you listen to?
I’m (obviously) obsessed with podcasts so there are lots! The ones I’ve been loving lately are:
- Kate’s Take from Entrepreneur on Fire with Kate Erickson
- #Wearyourdreams with Alice Oluyitan
- As Told by Nomads with Tayo Rockson
- Cognac Small Talk with Anthony J.R.
- #Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
- Millennial with Megan Tan