. . . being yourself!
Really? Who else could I be? Who else could you be?
I kind of laugh when I hear this. Seriously!! Who else could I be??? After making lots of snarky remarks I got off my high horse and realized this . . .
Yes, we are always ourselves . . . our insecure selves, our egotistical selves, our guarded selves, our serious selves, our emo selves, our dorky selves, our humble selves, our stubborn selves, our careful selves, and on and on and on.
But I think what’s really going on behind the statement “be yourself” is this . . . be your comfortable self, be your best self. The one who doesn’t care what other people think. The one who is brave enough to say something that may not be popular. The one who says inappropriate jokes at the wrong time. The one who laughs out loud in a public bathroom when someone farts. The one who walks around with pizza sauce on your face unknowingly for hours but has the confidence to laugh at yourself.
Before I knew I was a photographer, I was working toward being a professional interior designer. I was taking a design course at the University of California at Santa Barbara while working as a legal secretary. I also had a freelance job doing desktop publishing at night. I had the lucky opportunity to work for a great client who I’ll just call Bill (because that was his name). He knew I wanted to be a designer so he introduced me to a friend of his who was a famous interior designer. I think his name was Dick Mine (such a nice, nice man). Mr. Mine was looking to retire and wanted to find a fresh young face to work in his design firm.
I felt so “less than” after I heard of Mr. Mine’s credentials and was incredibly intimidated so when we set an appointment for Mr. Mine to show me a few of the many homes he had designed for affluent clients in Santa Barbara I went out immediately and purchased a new outfit. The outfit wasn’t me at all . . . it was what I thought I should look like to impress him – kind of artsy and stylish. I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. Oh, I can dress up but I don’t typically dress like a gypsy. I’ve got style but I’m not stuffy or pretentious in the least! But I do LOVE me some fashion. :)
So the day we met, I was super nervous. Mainly because I wasn’t being myself at all. I oohed and ahhed at everything he showed me even though I knew I was WAY over my head. It was such an out-of-body experience. The worst part was when we were trudging up a hill to view a house. Mr. Mine was ahead of me. I was looking at my footing while he was talking away. It was so awkward to maneuver the steep rocky hill in my high heels but I picked up some pretty good momentum. So when Dick had come to a complete stop I was completely unaware and what happened was so embarrassing . . . like a freight train, I slammed headfirst into his chest. So hard that he lost his footing as my head, and then chest, bounced off him making me stumble backward down the hill. OMG OMG OMG!!!! I seriously wanted a redo! Of the whole day!!! He was so incredibly gracious I have to say. He never missed a beat, gained his composure, saved me from falling to my death and continued explaining the design of the home. He never said a thing to me or made me feel small.
After that, I dropped out of sight . . didn’t answer his calls or continue my courses in design out of complete humiliation.
My point is this . . . had I been myself, if I’d accepted myself and not tried to be something I wasn’t, if I’d worn something that I felt comfortable in, I might have ended up being a famous interior designer! LOL I’m pretty sure people can see through us when we’re trying to be something (someone) else. There’s no way we can win in this situation. And if you did win, you’d be miserable trying to live up to the persona you created.
This translates into every aspect of our lives . . . our relationships, our businesses, etc. What I really should have done was have let myself shine! I should have been my wonderful, wonderful self . . . like me or leave me.
So, now I leave you with part of a favorite speech of mine written by Marianne Williamson and spoken by Nelson Mandela . . .
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”