“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” -Mary Sarton
It seems that people always have the need to please others. And I understand why. Wanting to be liked and accepted is simply, human nature. But in our efforts to please people, we often lose sight of who we really are, creating a false image that sharply contrasts with our true self.
But, if a person likes you for a complete fabrication of a personality you have created, and they have no idea who you really are…what’s the point? I would rather have a few close friends who love me as I am than a lot of friends who like a big phony.
I’m not saying it is okay to be inconsiderate and disregard other people’s feelings. But it’s time to release yourself from the unnecessary stress you are creating for yourself by getting so caught up in what other people think about you.
Do you ever find yourself shape-shifting your personality as you go from one social situation to another throughout the day? I used to do the same thing and it was very exhausting and difficult to keep up with. It is pointless to change yourself to fit the “audience” of the moment, because when it’s all said and done, none of these people will have any idea who you really are. Don’t you think that might leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled?
There is nothing wrong with you. You are amazing right here, right now, today, as you are. Those things about you that might be considered quirky or strange? They are the very things that make you who you are. Don’t hide the weird things about you: embrace them and share them with the world, because this is what makes you who you are!
I’m a firm believer in leading by example, so confession time:
Here are some things about me that might be considered strange.
• My favorite music genres are punk rock and death metal, but I also have a fondness for classical music and show-tunes.
• I think hot cheese is delicious but cold cheese is gross.
• I have an irrational fear of bees, because I have never been stung by one. One time, a bee flew through my car window on a summer day, and I got so scared that I panicked and almost ran into a stop sign (not kidding: it isn’t pretty!).
• I have no patience for people who say and do mean things, and wish we could all just have a big group hug and focus on what we have in common instead of our differences.
• I am a wee-bit needy in relationships in the realm of touch (my strongest sense). I love holding hands, playing with hair, massages, and all of that “sickly sweet” stuff. In a couple of past relationships, I found myself complaining about the lack of touch, and have sense enacted a new policy: no cuddles = no deal.
Be true to yourself. Accept the fact that not every single person can or will like you. When you embrace the authentic self you are, you might have fewer friends and relationships, but the ones you do have will be more fulfilling. You will be free to express your thoughts and feelings openly. You will inspire other people to realize it is okay to be true to themselves, too. You will be able to spend your time focusing on the people who really matter and stop wasting your time on the ones who don’t.
What are some unique, interesting, strange, or quirky things about yourself? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! Please don’t be shy. And if you know anyone who would benefit from reading this, you are welcome to pass this along. We need more people who are unafraid to be genuine in this world: life is a lot more fun and fulfilling when it is lived with truth and authenticity!
Daniel Wallen is an author, certified personal trainer, life coach, and nerd from Tennessee. Being authentic is a topic discussed in Daniel’s brand new book, “Being a Calm, Cool You: How to Reduce Stress and Take Control of Your Life.” Click here to become a calm, cool you.
Daniel is also the author of the best-selling women’s health and self-help book, “The Busy Woman’s Guide to Getting Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous.” This is not a typical “workout book,” but rather a source of bite-sized encouragement, inspiration, and guidance for busy women aspiring to become better versions of themselves. Click here to get fit, fierce, and fabulous.
Daniel keeps a personal blog at http://www.thewallenway.com where he writes about things like how to be a good boyfriend, what it means to be a man, why you should be more like Aquaman, and his puppy daughter (a beagle named Dixie). Daniel also offers motivational speaking to business groups and coaching services to anyone interested in improving their mind, body, health and life. Some of Daniel’s favorite things include acting, musicals, the outdoors, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, comic books, vintage pin-up models, and cheesecake.