Don’t be someone you are not. Be yourself always.
I saw this t-shirt, or perhaps it found me, providing me material freely for my blog. It said:
A great reminder that we are not put on this earth to be someone else. We are here to live our life authentically, as ourselves, and no one else.
Yes, we can have role models that we look up to, but we must remember they live their own lives. A role model can be positive or negative.
I remember the good, the not so great and the bad alike. The not-so-great and bad leaders gave me examples of the kind of person I didn’t want to be. They exhibited traits I did not want to pull into my life. The good gave me something to reach for.
Then there is a great role model, someone who encourages you and pulls the best out of you. Not to make you like them, but to help you become the best version of yourself.
One of the best bosses was not necessarily the best at what he did from a knowledge standpoint but was a great judge of people. He was attentive and recognized my strengths and weakness. That made him a great manager. I knew the details, but he saw where my passion lay and encouraged me to put my talents to better use. He is why my first book, Hopes, Dreams and Desires, even exists.
When we try to be like others and step away from our core selves, we become unsettled. Like ill-fitting clothes, we walk in someone else’s skin. When we listen to the advertisers telling us who we should be or how we should think, we allow them to dictate our lives. Remember, they are just trying to sell their products. Here is another important fact – they are strangers who don’t even know us. Like everyone else, they are trying to fill a need.
Likewise, when we try to ‘fit in’ with a crowd that is not aligned with our core values, we become internally uncomfortable. We see them being happy, but inside we don’t feel the same joy. This is because we are moving away from our true selves, and our subconscious lets us know it.
Only you can decide and figure out what makes you happy and what you are good at. Once you do, it is also up to you to find a way to make a living at it and put those talents to use. Not all our skills need to be made into a job. Our services can be given freely, like my blogs. I don’t write them to make money, but to provide whoever needs it an inspirational, spiritual or motivational boost.
Some say the money will follow, and others say it is a pipe dream. Who knows what the future holds. It will unravel as it is meant to, propelling us further ahead or watching as we lag behind. The future doesn’t care what you do with it because it hasn’t happened yet. It is never now and always ahead of us.
I can tell you this, just because it is your dream and something you are good at doesn’t mean you won’t have to work for it. We all have to put the work in. It is the very few who slide by in life and cash in. The majority work hard, but they are satisfied with knowing they are doing something with their skills for others.
For as long as I can remember, there were two great joys in my life. Stories and music. Okay, maybe three, because I love movies, but in reality, they are just visual stories. I love to sing and dance and to spin a tale. It is what I enjoy, and it took me my whole life to realize that my high school English teacher really didn’t know what he was doing when he discouraged me from pursuing a writing career. I should never have listened to him.
In school, I had the grades, but I dialed them in most of the time. I studied hard to pass, but I could have worked harder. There was one teacher who failed my paper because he said I wasn’t capable of the work. He said it was the work of a first-year university paper. I had put a lot of work into that paper and almost dropped out of high school because of him.
Had I listened, I would have heard a different message, one that said, ‘you are excelling and will do well if you pursue your path.’ Instead, the girl with the lack of confidence decided she was not good enough for university and from there just tried to be what she thought people wanted her to be. It didn’t always work to my advantage, but God blessed me with great friends along the way and pushed me onto the paths that I needed to walk. They led me to where I am today. I wouldn’t trade the scars, sorrow and heartache found along the way. There was also a lot of love, laughter and personal growth.
Throughout my career, I have always found a way to put my creativity and writing skills to use. One of my last bosses put that talent to work, and I thrived in my job and enjoyed every minute of it. I loved getting up every morning and going to work.
Don’t get me wrong. Life isn’t always roses and sunshine. It is a work in progress, like any masterpiece. I still look in the mirror and find fault. Perhaps it is because I am only human, and I haven’t yet been able to see fully the girl that God sees. I am getting closer, though.
What I can tell you is this. I am living my truth and my passion. I am doing me the best way I know how, and that is not only being true to myself; it is what living authentically is all about.
If you are unsettled and uncomfortable in your life or just unhappy, perhaps it is time for some reflection. You must determine if you are putting your skills to good use and, if not, find a way to do so.
Life is much more enjoyable when you are living your purpose. Don’t strive to be someone else. Aspire to be yourself always.
Free inspirational or motivational posts can be found on the inspirational page of Leslie’s website.