“To wish you are someone else is to waste the person you are.” ~Sven Goran Eriksson
I have been studying business and marketing for quite some time now, watching the most successful men and women very carefully and picking apart how they’ve achieved what they’ve achieved.
I’ve read every book I can get my paws on and thought long and hard about why they have managed it and others just haven’t.
I’ve also seen many businesses and online brands mimicking exactly what those super successful people are doing, and I’ve wondered why they are a mere shadow on the wall in comparison.
I’ve realized one thing: The super-successful people are doing exactly the same things as the not so successful people.
They use the same tools, blog about the same topics, and have the same personal development techniques. But they still do way better; they have more followers and fans that rave about their work and share it with everyone they know.
And it’s purely because they are rocking it in their own way. They are being their honest selves.
But how do they do that?!
I have been tormented with being myself all my life, struggling with the idea of liking myself and who I am.
I’ve been on a merry-go-round of trying to be someone or something that everyone will like. But I know that not everyone will like everything, so I’ve set myself an impossible task.
I also know that self-love and acceptance is the key to everything I want. Not just success, but to be happy with who I am, at last.
I often have this conversation with myself:
Hey, I’m weird. I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I feel as if people will always judge me for doing what I want and being me and only me.
What’s wrong with being me? I’m no good at being anyone else, so what’s the big deal? Well, maybe there isn’t a big deal?
Am I making a big deal?
Right, that’s it, I’m stopping this nonsense. I’m just going to be me…
But who the hell is “me”?!
Can I determine that by what I like? Or by my interests?
Or is it pure and simple my mannerisms, the way I look and the things I say?
Maybe it’s the way I think…?
Then I’m looping. On that never ending cycle of question after question.
And those questions never get answered.
The problem is, it’s very difficult to know who you are and why you do things and where your crazy thought processes come from.
It’s impossible to put yourself into a category, but even so, we’re constantly trying to categorize ourselves. Think of subcultures like goths or punks, and blogging tribes, and football teams. Everyone is trying to belong.
You see, I don’t have the dialogue above with myself in an attempt to understand who I am, but to try to understand how I fit into this world.
I want to understand how I can offer something to the world, make a difference, be liked by the people I meet and, ultimately, belong. Just like those super successful people, but not them—just myself.
I’m not sure if human beings can ever really know themselves. We’re constantly evolving, growing, changing, especially people like us who are into personal development and enlightenment.
We’re on fast-forward compared to people who don’t take much notice of developing themselves. So every few months we become a different person, who is the same person, with a lot more knowledge and different way of looking at the world.
It’s actually pretty mind-blowing!
We know that the beauty of ourselves is our individualism, our differences, and the quirks that only we have. But at the same time, we know that people are drawn to familiarity and like-mindedness. And this is where I personally get confused, because half the time I’m trying to be myself and the other half of the time I’m trying to fit in—or even worse, be someone who I’d like to be like!
But it doesn’t serve us to be torn like this, and I find that the temptation of trying to fit in is actually my own insecurities sabotaging the possibilities of me being completely myself. Completely free of the constraints of conforming, free of being a reflection of someone else, free of acting out someone else’s story.
Next time you look at someone successful or beautiful or passionate, and you have those inspired feelings of “Maybe I could be like that too?”, always remember that, yes, you can do what they do, but you can never be like them.
You can do it all too. But you need to just keep being you.
I’m reminding myself of this on a daily basis, trying my utmost to convince my pesky brain that it’s safe to be me. In fact, it’s the only way to be if I ever want to be truly happy.
These are the things I am doing to keep on track with being me. They might not work for you, because you are you, but they could change everything:
1. Get the Universe in on the plan.
The first thing I did was stop asking the Universe what my life purpose was, whether I should go traveling or start saving for a mortgage, or if this business idea was the right one. And instead, I started asking it to let me know if I wasn’t being myself.
I started to get little signs that reminded me that I wasn’t on the right path. And also big ones, like when my last business crumbled into nothingness. Yes, the Universe was serious about me being myself and not something I thought I should be!
2. Be kinder to yourself.
You may have heard this a million times, but honestly, it’s working. When my mind chatter goes spinning off into some cruel dialogue along the lines of “I’m not good enough,” I ask myself, “Would I say that to someone I love?’
The answer is no, I would never say that to someone I love. I would say, “Darling, you’re doing just fine, you deserve happiness and love, and you are perfect just the way you are.”
And all of sudden I chill out, I stop fretting, knowing that I have my own support in this.
3. Remind yourself that someone is relying on you.
There’s nothing like a bit of guilt to motivate you! But really, imagine just one person that needs you to just be you. One person that needs your talent so desperately that it will change their life, move them out of poverty into comfort or sadness into joy.
By not being you, you won’t be on purpose, you won’t be sharing your gift, you won’t be changing those lives. This makes me dig deep and get real with myself, because someone is relying on me to be me!
You don’t have to know who you are to be who you are; just do what makes you feel alive, live how you want to live, and don’t let the constraints of other people’s stories hinder you in any way.
Today, and every day, I’m choosing to be myself. And I’m getting better at it.
Photo by Scarleth Marie