7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…
I spent years trying to be someone different, trying to be someone everyone wanted me to be. Way back in 1989 – I’m giving away my age now – when I was 18, I scrawled a poem: ‘I’ll open my heart and show you inside, but don’t let me know what you’ve seen. I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how. I don’t even know how to be me.’ …and I lived that teenage angst for another decade or so before allowing myself to discover who I was.
Don’t do it. Don’t be anyone but yourself.
Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human experience. – Anna Quindlen.
So, find out who you are and be YOU.
Never apologise for who you are – You are a human being and therefore not perfect, and no one should expect you to be. Don’t apologise for who you are. You don’t have to apologise for your opinions, your ideas, your beliefs, your weight, your talents, your flaws, and never for being yourself.
Love your flaws, they’re not flaws they’re YOU, uniquely you – Embrace yourself and love every part of you. You can love your flabby stomach, you can love your quirks, you can love your freckles, you can love your wonky nose, your flat feet, your penchant for the odd in life, you can even embrace your mistakes – they are what make you grow, and they give you strength and humility. Sometimes people will see flaws where none exist, and you’ll do the same. Be wise, you can change if you’re not happy or healthy, but accept that you won’t ever be perfect, and some things never need changing.
Accept that society’s love for perfection is not only unattainable, but not truth – Repeat after me: I’m not perfect. That’s hard for a perfectionist to say, but it’s true. Society’s values are often distorted and they put pressure on us to reach perfection. Magazine images are airbrushed and photoshopped so that the original picture can sometimes be unrecognisable. With the advent of Instagram and photo apps we can even do the same. We can add as many filters as we like, but sometimes the best pictures are #nofilter. We need to understand that perfect is not something we are meant to be.
Stop comparing yourself to anyone – Who’s living your life? You are, so live it and don’t try to be someone else. It’s easy to look at those around you and believe they have it better, and we all sometimes wish we could be someone else. John Mason said: You were born an original, don’t die a copy. If we compare ourselves to others we’ll never be satisfied with our own lives, envy will fester and discontent will brew. Nobody has it easy, so look inside yourself and embrace who you are.
Be good to yourself – It’s important to be good and kind to yourself. Don’t punish yourself for not being good enough or for not reaching the heights you desire. Don’t let guilt grow when you need time for yourself. We all need ‘Me Time’ and it’s not selfish, it’s common sense and it’s called looking after yourself. Be patient, be good to yourself, love yourself, eat chocolate, dance in the rain, have a bubble bath, buy the scent you love most, partake of the good things life has to offer and enjoy it!
Live your own life – ‘Live your life be free’ I think Belinda Carlisle said that and E. E. Cummings said: It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. And more valuable advice from David Carradine: If you cannot be the poet, be the poem. Be the poem, be you, be the most wonderful you that you can ever be!
Be authentic, honest and true to yourself – For so long, I tried to be what other people wanted me to be and I denied my true self. Integrity is intrinsic, it is part of you and you can’t escape it, so keep it. Integrity is how you act even when no one else can see. It’s not on show, it’s you. So be true to yourself. Know yourself and know your core values, your needs, your desires, and your dreams. They will frame who you are, and staying true to them will help you achieve what you need to, and to become who you should be. One of my favourite E. E. Cummings quotes is this: To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. BE YOU. After all, you have to live with who you are and who you become.
There came a moment in my life when I had to switch up from being an angst-ridden people-pleaser and I had to embrace myself. In 2004 fifteen years after my original poem I wrote: ‘I opened my heart and showed you inside and you didn’t betray what you’d seen. I wanted to be everything everyone wanted, but I didn’t know how to be me. So, I tore off my mask and ripped out my heart and left my soul bare to bleed. I clenched my fists tight and screamed out loud, now I’m learning how to be me.’ And then four years later at the ripe old age of 36 (lol) I rewrote it: ‘My heart is now open and clear to see, and I don’t feel the need to please. People can take me for what they want me to be, but I only need to be me. My heart can soar in a world of its own, and no one can stop me at all, for over the years there are lessons I’ve learned, and I know exactly how to be me.’
Life is short and you need to be you, your authentic self. No one else can do a better job.
You can read my author interview with Lisa HERE.
Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is author, Sara Daniell.