The world always wants you to ‘fit in’ thus giving up your uniqueness.
Seeing that comment on your life’s work that tells you there’s something wrong or stupid about what you posted can hurt. I experienced that this week when someone who is a friend left me a harsh comment and suggested I shouldn’t give advice to anyone.
“Giving advice is not your place in society and you should never make recommendations.”
It’s a fight every single day. It’s rare that someone wants you to be exactly as you are. They want you to change to validate their view of the world.
When you put together a Powerpoint deck, there’s always someone who doesn’t quite like the font you chose.
When you share a vulnerable story with an audience that took years to be comfortable talking about, someone always wants to tell you that you’re oversharing.
When you give up one career for a brand new one, someone always wants to stop you or tell you what career you should be doing.
When you meet the love of your life, someone always wants to tell you that you can do better or say, “are you sure?” with a sarcastic smile.
The world always wants you to ‘fit in’
— thus giving up your uniqueness.
It’s an accomplishment to be yourself
That’s how I feel. Being a writer allowed me to be myself.
Every day I had to wear a bulletproof vest to protect my heart from the bullets that wanted to kill my dreams.
Dreams that I’ve had since childhood of inspiring a couple of people. But right now, I feel it has been an accomplishment to not meet the world’s view of who I should be, could be, or may have been. The same is true for you.
Everyone wants to cast their opinions on you and trap you in a fishing net designed to capture the variety of fish you get at your local Fish N Chipper. The trick is to be yourself. It’s a form of art to get used to not worrying about what other people think of you.
People want you to change because they are often too afraid to change themselves.
It’s easier to tell a stranger to change than it is to change yourself and change your life in the process.
Here’s how to be yourself.
1. Give yourself permission
You own the permission slip to your life — you get to decide. Allow yourself to do whatever it is that your heart desires.
Say yes to invitations that make you feel excited.
Say yes to opportunities that feel right for where you are right now in life.
Say yes to hanging around people who build you up and no to those who tear you down.
Give yourself permission to be yourself. Let yourself be weird, awkward, bizarre, different and show emotion. If that’s you, then so be it. There’s no default setting for who you’re supposed to be as a human.
Because if you don’t give yourself permission, then one day you’ll be dead and won’t have control anymore. That would be a damn shame.
2. Take a risk
It’s a little risky to be yourself. It takes guts to wear that crop top to Friday drinks or get that tattoo of your mother on your arm or to take that job that pays $30,000 less but puts a bloody big smile on your pretty face.
Risk is everywhere. Life is risky and even then, you can do everything right and still have a heart attack or die in a car accident. You can’t avoid risk, so you might as well use risk to your advantage and be yourself.
Buy those damn boots.
Take the damn holiday.
Get the freaking car that’s bad for your hip pocket and screams cool.
Quit your job and take the one you’ve always wanted.
You’ll feel much better and be more in line with who you seek to become if you take a risk or two. Risks are how you grow into your potential and find who you’re meant to be in the process.
3. Fight the noise
The world is noisy, especially if you put your ear against the Twitter app.
The best way to put your fists up to your face and fight is to use silence.
Ignore the email telling you that you’re an asshole. Don’t read the comments you get on social media like your life depends on it. Take advice, say thank you, and then do nothing with it if you choose. Let the Twitter trolls harass your tweets for a few days and then wait for them to get bored and move onto the next victim.
Fight the noise with the silence of knowing you’re doing just fine and giving it your best. That’s all you can do when the noise wants to deafen who you seek to be.
4. Keep going
There will be days, even for Kim Courageous, where you won’t want to keep going. Where being yourself is bloody hard because nothing seems to be going right.
There will be days where you walk past your boss in the corridor and wish you didn’t post your feelings on LinkedIn for the whole office to see. Other days will punch you in the face and remind you of how quickly people can disappear from your life through the drain of human existence. One minute they’re there and the next minute they’re gone. Keep going on those days too.
Some days your writing will suck. Write the next sentence.
Some days your feelings will get hurt. Have a good old fashion cry and then get back to it.
Some days your awesomeness will be overshadowed by the fragility of being human and trying to not be broken by the struggle.
Whatever day it is, keep going.
Be yourself, remember to smile, and don’t let the world critique you into a dark box that no longer resembles your life.