Be Yourself

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Here is a question that you may have asked or are asking right now; do you feel compelled to be somebody you're not? Do you live in a big house because you think it is required to fit the mold of others? Does your choice of furniture reflect what you think others would expect you to have? Does the car you drive fit with what you believe others think you should drive?

Did You Ever
Have you ever stopped to think how much energy, or for that matter, how much you complicate your life, by pretending to be someone you're really not?

Maybe this is partly a reflection of a portrayed lifestyle you see every day on the television, or those latest magazines depicting a glamorous lifestyle. Who are you trying to impress - you, or everyone else?

Think how simple your life would be if you stopped for a moment and just learned to be yourself. Or, even more importantly, think how simple and stress free your life would be if you do not conform to the current economic culture where you spend more than you make.

Karen's Story
Take one of my previous co-workers, Karen, for example. Karen spends most of her day worrying about what other people think about her.

She buys furniture in a style that she thinks would impress her friends even though this furniture is very uncomfortable. She conforms to the latest fashion and trend regardless whether she likes it or not. In fact, she divests herself of furniture that is not only functional but is also without signs of wear and tear. In essence, she trashes what is still good.

The same goes for clothing. It doesn't matter if it is comfortable what matters to her is it the latest fashion; does she look great in it is her concern. As well, every time she goes out the door, she worries whether what she wears, or how she looks, is up to the standards of the people she knows that she just might meet at the neighbourhood store. Comfort is not her concern but, instead, it is conformity.

In Short, Who Cares
What is the real meat in this conformity cycle? The meat is this:
be yourself, enjoy who you are.

For example, if you need comfy furniture that really invites you to curl up and relax, then do it. After all, whom are you trying to impress with uncomfortable furniture? You're the one who has to live there. You're the one who should be comfortable in your own home. To live in conformity cowing to what others think is no different than sailing a rudderless ship that is directed by the prevailing wind. When the wind
changes course a rudderless ship changes in the same direction.

One thing I've come to realize is that it really doesn't matter what other people may think. If they are that small minded, or if they want to impress whomever, let them. I, for one, don't care. I don't have to spend any energy or complicate my life by what others may think. Isn't it really a matter of what's inside of you that should reflect who you really are? Or, is the question more about the real issue; that issue being that you have no clear idea who you really are?

Don't waste your time, your energy, or complicate your life by worrying about what other people may think. It really boils down to this - if they shun me, or look down their noses at me because of my furniture, or the house I live in, or the car I drive, then do I really want or need them as friends? The answer is a resounding no.

It is not what furniture you possess; it is not the size or style of your home; it is not the clothes you wear; it is not the type of car you drive; it is not how many or the kind of clubs you belong to; it is who you deep down inside that really matters.

Did It Help?
Several years ago, I was in a position to see what happens to people who spend their lives pretending to be someone they are not.

These people invited a lot of their colleagues and superiors over to their home for a weekend BBQ, or for a sit down dinner. Their intent in inviting colleagues and superiors was to position themselves with either one or both in a more favorable position for promotions.

Each part of this duo couple was working in a similar area and in related organizations.

Over the next two years, these parties were conducted on a regular basis and were always elaborate. I had occasion to speak with both of them near the end of their second year of almost non-stop hosting, and was amazed at what they told me.

I asked them point blank if they were successful in their quest to garner consideration for promotion as a result of their extensive and elaborate parties?

Given that they had previously told me that their efforts was what was required to get ahead, I was surprised to learn that both answered almost in unison that they regretted starting out on this venture, and detested each and every party.

Why Do This If You Detest Doing It?
In very simple terms, they told me that they always had to pretend to enjoy the people they invited even though some of them were quite arrogant, some were there simply to eat their food and drink their wine, and some even had the nerve to invite a few of their friends along with them to gorge themselves on food and wine. In short, they knew they were being used.

I also asked them if they had been promoted or given any special treatment by their superiors over the past two years. The short answer was none; not one thing had changed.

Here is a perfect example of two people who tried to both buy and bribe their way to greater promotions and had failed miserably. They pretended to like people they did not; they pretended to be gracious hosts and hated every moment; and they entertained to please others they had little or no respect for.

The Message Is Clear:
Be true to yourself, be
honest with others. Live with truth and not lies or deception. You are just as valuable a person whether you live in a one room apartment or in a thirty room mansion. Your real worth as a person is not measured by your possessions but by your attitude, ethics, and compassion. The person you harm by being a conformist is the inner-self, the real you.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"You cannot look to other people to make you feel loved or even happy. Accept yourself exactly as you are... flaws and all."
Amber Rain

"Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah."
Richard Bach

"Change may involve new ways of thinking, doing, being, and growing."
Dr. Silva Green

"Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story."
Max Ehrmann

"Self-belief can have such an impact on every area of your life that it's vital to try and enhance your attitude to yourself before you move on and tackle other issues relating to your confidence."
Paul Bailey

"The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands."
Arthur H. Stainback

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Seuss


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