16 Dec Permission To Be Yourself
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Have you ever tried to change who you are to fit in with someone else?
During my first year of college I met a guy I really liked. He was a free spirit and lots of fun. I was attracted to his carefree demeanor. We went out a few times and he told me right up front that he wasn’t looking for a committed relationship. He said we were too young to be tied down and he wanted to continue to go out together, but he wanted us both to be free to see other people too.
I remember wholeheartedly agreeing with him and telling him that it suited me just fine. I told him I didn’t want to be tied down either and we could just casually date. But deep down inside I knew I was not being true to myself. I was not the casual dating kind.
From a young age, I dreamed of being married and finding my soul mate—I’m an idealist dreamer type—but I wanted to be who he wanted me to be because I liked him.
Needless to say, that didn’t last very long. When days would go by without a call, or when I’d see him walk by me without even acknowledging me, it bothered me in spite of my efforts to be the free-wheeling person I claimed to be.
Trying to be someone other than yourself will exhaust you and eat away at your self-confidence.
Self-confidence by definition is a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. How can you have confidence when you’re trying to be someone you’re not? You’ll always feel like you’re not measuring up.
The first step to living life with self-confidence is to fully accept who you are.
Back to my college dating story… once I realized I was not looking for an open, casual, relationship, I was able to stop dating guys who weren’t interested in settling down.
Not all of my stories have a fairy-tale ending, but fortunately, this one does. While I grew out of my idea we all have one soul-mate we need to search the earth to find, I found the perfect life partner for me very soon after that experience.
I stopped trying to be someone I wasn’t and allowed myself to be vulnerable with a trustworthy, faithful, loving (and handsome), guy who was willing to commit his life to me.
This same principle applies to all areas of life.
It’s so easy to look at other people and try to emulate them because they have something you aspire to have, but this is a dangerous practice and you risk losing yourself in the process. While there is nothing wrong with learning from others, we must always be careful not to try to “be” others.
Consider this your permission to BE YOURSELF!
If you struggle with this because you don’t like who you are, now would be a good time to dig in and figure out why.
Sometimes the things we don’t like about ourselves are actually gifts. We just need to reframe them to appreciate their value and contribution they make to the world.
I’ve often wished that I was less sensitive and saw my sensitivity as a burden to carry, but I’ve learned to embrace it as a gift so I can intuitively pick up on people’s emotions. It’s taken a while, but I’m learning to look for ways to both use my sensitivity for good and protect myself from emotional overload.
There is freedom in being yourself and having confidence in your abilities, qualities and judgements.
In the context of our faith, God designed us all differently so we can make up the different parts of the body of Christ. Diversity is what makes it so beautiful.
1 Corinthians 12: 14-20 says:
“For the body does not consist of one part, but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
But in fact, God has arranged the members of the body, every one of them, according to His design. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
What about you? Are there things about you that you wish you could change? Is it possible that you need to reframe them to see them as an asset? Are you trying to be more like someone else than maximizing your own unique and wonderful qualities? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Let’s make 2018 the year of being wholly ourselves with no apologies!
Hugs from your highly sensitive friend,