Being “YOU” Is Hard! But Do it Anyway
I get it.
Being your authentic self can be hard for a number of reasons; you don’t exactly know who you are, the criticism and critiquing can be too much, we don’t like not fitting in, society tells us there is something wrong with us, etc. There are a lot of reasons why being our authentic, true selves is an arduous task. But I’m here to tell you. Do it anyway.
Here’s the deal. Life is better when we can let go and be ourselves. It’s freeing. It’s energizing. It’s a breath of fresh air. When we are actually able to be our authentic selves every day, all day, we are truly living.
You don’t know who you are?
It’s with a heavy heart I have to say that I believe this one is the most prevalent. From the day we come out of the womb, society kicks the self right out of us. Boys wear blue, girls wear pink. Boys play with trucks, girls play with dolls. Kids are to be seen not heard. Good kids follow instructions, bad kids don’t. The cool kids wear cool clothes, have cool hair. Jocks play sports. The jocks are straight and tough. The nerds read books and play video and computer games. The pretty girls are popular. Black kids are hard and thuggish. White kids are preppy or grunge. Asian kids are good at math and go to Ivy League schools. White men are CEO’s. Women go into HR, nursing, marketing. Men go into sales, engineering, science. Kids from blue-collar communities become plumbers, construction workers, and electricians. If you live in a nice neighborhood, you need to have a nice car, BMW, Mercedes, etc. If you live in the country, you have to drive a truck. The stereotypes are endless and unfortunately, we embrace them in our own lives too often. From the day we are born we let society TELL us who we are and what’s worse, most of us listen. I’m here to say it needs to stop.
Learning to break the cycle and stop subscribing to who society TELLS us to be takes courage AND awareness. We have to be willing to be vulnerable with ourselves and society as a whole. We have to be willing to accept our entire being, our strengths, and weaknesses, our self-likes and dislikes and embrace them in the face of social pressure, not because of it, but in spite of it. Don’t let society tell you who you are. Look inward, listen to your voice, embrace those subtle voices in your head that try pushing you in a direction. Don’t let that defeating voice make you focus on what others think or on how society says you should think or act. Do you. Take the time to look inward, self assess, become more self-aware and embrace the real you that’s inside. Let it come out. Learning who we really are is the first and most important step in being authentic. GO FOR IT!
Criticism and Critique
Nobody likes unwarranted criticism, or to be critiqued by strangers and naysayers. It’s brutal. It can make us constantly on the defensive. It can be a heavy burden. However, let’s look at it differently. Imagine your a 6’2″ inch guy and someone makes fun of you for being “short.” Or imagine you went to Harvard or Stanford and someone makes fun of you for going to one of those terrible schools. Does it bother you? Of course not. Your confidence level is so high in those areas, that it doesn’t even phase you to think some random is trying to break you down. You KNOW there is nothing to critique there. You’re too confident. You know 6’2″ isn’t short and you know Harvard or Stanford as the best schools in the world. You have confidence in those facts. Well, that’s what it’s like when you’re able to be your complete authentic self. When you have the confidence in your authentic self and know you are special and that there is nothing to be ashamed of or hide, you will be able to own you. Be confident in who you are. Unapologetically OWN it.
We All Want to Fit In
I get it! We all want to fit in. But at what cost? If we’re not our 100% authentic selves, are we really a part of something or are literally just fitting in? Let me let you in on a little secret. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who will like and appreciate the authentic you! Trying to fit in with the herd, the masses, those others everyone says you should, not worth it. You’d be amazed at who you fit in with once you allow yourself to be with those who most appreciate the real you, the authentic you. Don’t mold yourself to someone else’s definition of who they think you should be, be who you are and those who value it will find you. The numbers don’t matter. You don’t need 1000’s of friends, followers or connections. You need real, substantive, engaged humans who value you, for you. If that’s one million great. If that’s 1000 great. If that’s 50, who cares. What’s really powerful here, is they will be far more engaged, supportive and aligned with your authentic self, than they will be with your fake, try to fit in self. Don’t try to fit in. Just fit.
The Less You Try, The More They Buy
It’s amazing what happens when you become yourself. You attract more people, more connections, more attention from the right people. You see, when we are our authentic self, it’s real. We’re not a shell. We’re not acting or faking and people can sense that. It’s hard to stick out in a crowded room when everyone is the “same.” Yes, we may be fitting in, but when we’re fitting in, we’re not standing out. Being our authentic selves makes us one-of-a-kind. There can be no one like us and that’s attractive to the people that matter. Let your authentic self be a filter. Let it attract those that matter and appreciate what makes you great and let it repel those who do not. There is nothing worse than chasing those who do not value who you are and what you bring to the table.
The less you try to be something you’re not and the more you are your authentic self, the more people will gravitate to you and celebrate all that makes you who you are.
Being YOU is hard. But do it anyway. It’s the best thing you can do, for you!