Just think about how wonderful it'd be if we could all live our lives focused on who we are; not on what we do, what we look like, what we own, or what we've accomplished. Wouldn't that take a lot of weight off the ol' shoulders? I do try to focus my attention on who I am as a frog...being kind, empathetic, loving, generous, funny (at least I hope so), and compassionate...and less on the fact that I'm small, green, a writer, and any/all of my failures. I think the big question that we all need to ask ourselves is, "What makes me a valuable frog (or human, in your case)" Many of us do think about it but, sadly, that usually means thinking about externals, like our accomplishments or what we contribute at work. But those have little to do with our worth, and who we really are.
What if we could stop evaluating by those measures and begin using a new "ruler" that would help us expand our appreciation for ourselves? Sounds lovely, to me.
Here are a few reasons why we should stop trying to be ourselves:
1. It's physically impossible. Well, maybe not, if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on cosmetic surgery procedures but then you'd only look like the other person. You still wouldn't actually BE the other person. You're setting yourself up for failure when you try to become someone you're not.
2. Being someone else won't make you happy. You were born to be you. And when you try to give that up, well, I don't need to tell you that there's no joy in that. You'll work very hard and still have a big empty hole inside...the hole that's meant to be filled with your authentic self.
3. Being someone else causes long-term emotional problems. What happens when you constantly fail at something? You get down on yourself. You lose self-esteem. Your self-confidence goes down the drain. And while all those things go down, your stress level goes up! It's a full-time job trying to be someone else. And it doesn't "pay" very well at all.
4. You push people away. When you're busy being someone else, you push away the people that love and care about you! Why? Because you're not YOU anymore. You seek out new people whom you think will help you get closer to being this "other person." That never ends up well.
5. You'll become lost. At some point, you'll "wake up" and realize that you'll never be this other person, no matter how hard you try. Then what? You've spent so long working on not being you that it becomes very hard to remember who you used to be. You'll have no idea what you truly want...or what you care about. Some folks never find their way back. They get stuck mid-way between their true self and the other person they tried so hard to be. They become invisible.
6. You don't know the other person. No matter how much you think you know about your idol, the hard truth is that you don't really know them. Everyone has problems, and fears, and hurdles to overcome. You may see their life as "perfect" but it isn't all sunshine and roses. You can bet on that.
7. You were made to be you, with your own gifts and talents. Your unique abilities are destined for something and it's up to you find out where to use those skills and talents. I truly believe that we all have a purpose.
Being fully ourselves takes commitment and faith. It's a process of letting go of many of the false beliefs we have about ourselves. Being ourselves can be scary and counter-intuitive, difficult, off-putting and, at times, very lonely. But, the upside is that when we do the work and find out who we really are using internal measures, finding our authentic self can be exciting and fulfilling. When we have the courage to be our real selves, without any apologies or pretenses, so much of our stress and worry will just simply go away.
Always tell yourself the truth. Appreciate who you are. Practice just being you. You may find out that you are WAY more awesome than you've ever given yourself credit for!
Love yourself, just the way you are. And you'll find that others will love you, too.