It’s the simplest advice, isn’t it? We were born with the ability to do it. Be ourselves; think, behave and interact with others from our true nature. Sounds easy enough.
So, where did we go wrong?
I suppose it’s about the time when we started noticing that other people had opinions and then those opinions started to matter… a lot. For me, it was middle school. When the popular girls didn’t understand why I didn’t talk like them and dress like them, suddenly I was on the outside of what felt like the world.
Of course, now as an adult, I realize I was only ostracized from a small group of pre-teens whom I would never see again after high school. Yet, at the time, their narrow-minded judgments meant the world to me. I wanted to be different than who I was.
It would take years to realize that me and the thousand little things that comprise who I am are perfect just the way they are… no matter who does or does not appreciate them.
“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” Tina Fey, Bossypants
How much or how little people like or understand you is irrelevant to who you are. When you embrace yourself just as you are and live true to your own nature, you discover what it means to be free of someone else’s stamp of approval.
And better yet, when people love you (and the life will always bring you people who do), you know they’re loving you for you, not for someone you pretend to be. Those who reject you, well, shake them off and keep right on going. They just instantly became an outsider looking in on you being fabulously you and living your life.
So remember: Be yourself. You’ll attract the ones who get it. Everyone else is just a spectator.