From the moment we are born, society has been trying to put us into a system that offers a “one-size-fits-all” approach. In school, we were taught not to make mistakes because those were punished by bad grades and embarrassment. The kids that look, talk and think differently are usually the ones that end up being bullied so they quickly think something is wrong with them. The very thought of trying something different is quickly beaten out of our kids at a very young age and it stays there until the moment we close our eyes again…
When everyone is just trying to fit in, how can I really be my true self?
Well, understanding that it takes time and involves a process of unlearning a lot of the bs that you have been taught is certainly a step in the right direction.
First and foremost you need to accept yourself for who you are, right here, right now. Stop obsessing about being perfect because not a single person on this planet ever was or ever will be perfect. Accepting yourself goes hand in hand with knowing yourself. Many, many moons ago it was written on the temple of Apollo at Delphi “Know thyself”
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What’s your story? What are your goals?
I still remember the days where I just wanted to make everyone else happy and proud of myself. It was more important to me what other people thought rather than what I truly believe was right for me. Mario: One day, I will be an actor in Hollywood and win an Oscar for being freaking awesome! Other people: Weeelllll, there are actors around every corner, how are you going to make a living. Mario: Ok fine, I’ll find something else that pays good money (that didn’t go well #ups)...
After many failures and disappointments, I started looking deeper inside of me and decided to put myself first! So what if other people disapprove? Heck, there are people on this planet that don’t like Gandhi or Jesus so why worry about the opinions of other people!? Yes, family is very important and without mine, I would not be here writing this from the heart to you.
Speaking of which…dear parents, I get it, you only want the best for your children - you want to see them happy! But happiness doesn’t come from having a great job, following the father’s footsteps or earning a lot of money. In fact, I believe it stems from making your own decisions, failing, learning, failing, learning and finally understanding what it really is that we want out of life. The best advice I can give you is to love no matter what, support every dream as much as you can and be there when your children need you.
Being yourself also means embracing yourself with all the flaws and imperfections. Welcoming constructive criticism that gives you an insight of the things you do and say without being aware of it. I used to roll over people like a German WW2 tank because my ego commanded me to be right all the time! That worked out really well in my relationships (not so much). When you have to be right all the time, it doesn’t allow for new inputs or ways of thinking. My ego is still a big challenge in my life but we get along better these days as I have learned to accept the help of others as a valuable contribution to my life. Talk to people and openly seek the conversation to better yourself but be careful not to engage with toxic people.
And now, you little beautiful, wonderful, magnificent rock star…I got some news for you:
You are a miracle of creation, you come from the same source of which all the planets, all the stars, and all the galaxies originate. In this whole wide world, there is no one and I mean no one with the same genetical mixture. You are unique, you are special, you are loved and you deserve to shine in your glorious light. Don’t allow anyone to tell you differently. Within you, there is a power that could help change our world for the better. Trust in yourself even when no one else does because you are here for a reason!
Just like Goethe said, “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
Stop putting yourself down. Make yourself a priority before anyone else in this life. This doesn’t come from an egotistical point of view but rather from understanding that it is crucial to take care of yourself first. If you are not at your best, how do you expect to help other people with their challenges?
Think about the all-time classic: what do airlines tell you when the oxygen mask drops? Pull it over YOUR face FIRST and then help others! If you try to be the super hero, you may end up being unconscious and fall on the kid next to you…so much for helping others.
Being yourself may sound easy but it is a path back to your true self. Letting go of trying to control everything that is happening around you will make a huge difference.
After all, life is a journey and we are supposed to enjoy the time we have.