Would you want your kid doing that? We teach our children and young adults to ‘Be Yourself’. If everyone else jumped off a bridge, yada, yada… We know how uniquely amazing our children are and it’s agonizing when they don’t see themselves that way—when they deny their own beauty in order to be like someone else.
We reason that they don’t have a solid sense of identity yet. They are still figuring out who they are; they’re still impressionable.
But what about you? Yes, you…the 30 year old teacher with a classroom full of raving little fans. You, the 45 year old woman who has raised a remarkable family. You, the 60 year old grandmother who has been to hell and back.
Why are you still jumping off the bridge just because everyone else is?
Isn’t it time to own who you are and be yourself already?
It’s a colossal waste of time
Even if you could win over the harshest of all judges…why? Why spend your most precious resources—your own time and energy—on such a meaningless goal?
Do you ever wonder what else you might accomplish with the time and energy you devote to worrying about what others’ think?
There is no limit to what you could do with that much channeled energy.
If you live to be 95 years old, you have less than 35,000 days in your life. Total. That’s it. If you’re mature enough to be reading this, a large of portion of them are already gone.
How many of them have you spent trying to squash who you are to make other people happy?
How many more do you plan to devote to that goal?
If you’re sitting there saying, “I get it, but how do I stop seeking approval?” you first decide to stop. The only way you will ever feel good enough is by thinking that you are. That starts with your own decision.
Believing that someone else can like you enough to make you like yourself is a lie. It’s just another form of looking outside of ourselves for what can only come from within.
You decide that fitting in is outdated and overrated. Leave that to the teenagers to work through. You, my friend, know who you are and it’s exactly who you were always meant to be.
Step into your own skin. Slowly, if you have to. Ease into it. But get in there and get familiar with how it feels when you’re not trying to deny it or hide it or change it. Own it.
Then, do damage control as necessary. When you start questioning your worth, wondering how someone else is seeing you, wishing you were different, notice that tendency and love yourself through it. Blow yourself a kiss or give yourself a high five for deciding to inhabit your own identity.
And then carry on with your day.