How many times have you asked a friend what you should do in an upcoming event and heard the response, “Just be yourself.” Up for a job interview? “Just be yourself.” Giving a speech? “Be yourself.”
I heard a great lyric to a song this morning: “be yourself ‘cuz everybody else is taken.” Isn’t that the truth? How often I’ve tried to emulate others only to discover they are a much better version of themselves than I can be. Conversely, I’m a better version of myself than they can be.
Sometimes I’ve wondered what life would be like if everyone was like me. What services would disappear? What food? Sodas would be gone. So would most fried foods. Since those are hugely popular, I’m obviously not mainstream. And that’s okay. Monet wasn’t exactly mainstream. Neither was Van Gogh.
Being ourselves is scary. Talk about putting yourself out there! Speaking of Monet and Van Gogh, their visions were so different thanthose of their contemporaries. What beautiful creativity we would have missed if they weren’t brave enough to express themselves. In a time when “different” wasn’t necessarily acceptable, they were certianly on the bleeding edge of art. Thank goodness!
I grew up very, very insecure. I wasn’t pretty, I didn’t have a lot of talent and I always felt awkward. We moved several times during my childhood so I was always the new girl. The awkward, shy, plain, new girl. Being myself certainly wasn’t lighting the world on fire.
I knew I wasn’t going anywhere on looks so I’d better work on my personality. I needed to be kind. I needed to care about others. In truth, I really felt that way. In practice, I needed to show it. When I did, something really wonderful happened.
When I quit worrying about what others thought of me and concentrated instead on what they had to say, I learned a lot about them. Surprisingly, they felt insecure as well. I learned I could help them feel more at ease and comfortable and as a result build some great friendships.
Reading a lot of positive mental attitude books over the years I’ve learned the art of being a great conversationalist is, ironically, not conversing. It’s listening. Taking the time to really listen to others. Taking the time to care.
As I’ve worked on being comfortable in my own skin, I’ve become more interested in helping others feel more comfortable in theirs. I believe people remember less about what you say and more about hlow you make them feel. I always want others to feel relaxed and open with me. I want to be that approachable, friendly, person.
That’s the part about being myself I want to work on most – helping those around me feel at ease. Encouraging other women to embrace the individuals they’ve become. Helping you to love yourself for what you’ve accomplished. Hoping you’ll allow yourself to do even more.
Thank you so much for reading and for allowing me to be myself here. I hope you’re encourgaed to do the same!