When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. Maya Angelou
In some ways, it’s easy to be ourselves. After all, who else can we be? The fundamental ‘stuff’ that makes up ‘me,’ is written in genes and ‘the way I grew up.’ So why are we so afraid of being 100%, ourselves?
If we really think about it, we spend a lot of time ‘conforming’. We worry what the neighbors, our co-workers or our family will think. But what about how we spend our time, who we associate with, what books we read, what thoughts we express?Do we betray ourselves in order to seem the same as everyone else?
We are often so afraid of being even a little bit different, that we push, no shove and repress our uniqueness to a place where we (and everyone else) doesn’t feel threatened. When we do this enough, we grow up to be replicas of those around us. Those who go to our church, live in our neighborhood, work at our company, etc. We are not individuals, we are a reflection.
If you’re a young person, you still have time to learn to assert your unique perspective and vision of yourself. You can practice not wincing when someone tells you they don’t understand who you are, why you’re wearing that outfit, why you think that, why you hang out with him/her.
If you’re like me (old, haha) it’s hard, but we can still do it. Let’s catch ourselves when we think, “I can’t do that.” That’s the moment we need to be brave. You can do it. I’ll report in on how I’m doing.
Image credit: Quotes wave