Friday, March 30, 2012

Stay True to Yourself & Just Be You

"Belief in oneself and knowing who you are—that's the foundation of everything great." ~ Jay-Z

Last week, I talked about listening to your inner voice and trusting yourself. I was inspired to write about that because my inner voice has been screaming at me for the last few weeks and while I was trying not to listen, it could not be ignored anymore. I was going through a period of trying to find myself and not feeling comfortable in where I was in my life.

I think we all go through phases in our lives where we are trying to find ourselves. It doesn’t matter if you’re 14 or 40. Since we continually evolve and change as we walk on our paths in life, there are times we will doubt ourselves. You’re trying to find your voice; your place in the world. Sometimes it is so blatantly clear and sometimes it isn’t. While the core of your voice and who you are never changes, as it grows and evolves, it becomes more defined and improved. And as I previously wrote about in “What’s Your Calling?”, you may know what your calling is but the capacity in which you are to fulfill that calling may not be so easily seen. And if you are not being true to yourself, that throws you off your path as well.

The chaos around you will always affect you, even if you try your hardest not to let it. That’s just life. You just have to learn how to take a moment, deal with the outside distractions and let it go. You can’t let the chaos dictate who you are or what steps you take on your journey in your life. Even though the chaos is there and you cannot control its presence in the world, you can control its presence around you and how it affects you.

In the past, there have been times for me where I am around a lot of people who are doing different things successfully in the same realm as me. And it has made me doubt myself because I am too busy focusing on what others are doing and comparing my successes to theirs. I have since learned that the key to being successful is not focusing on what others are doing – that’s their journeys and callings. Not mine. I had to remind myself that if I stay true to myself and push through, I will fulfill my destiny, just as they will fulfill theirs.

Staying true to yourself means being you even when it feels as if you’re going against the grain and won’t fit in. Think about it – why would you want to fit in when you’re trying to be someone you’re not? You’ll be miserable and yearn to be who you really are. Honestly, you have to love yourself unconditionally. That is the first step on any path of discovery. See yourself for who you really are, faults and all, and just accept you as you are. Love you as you are. It's not easy but it can be done and it will change your life.

When you love yourself unconditionally, you’re not that hard on yourself. You cease to be your own worst enemy. I mean, why would you want to be your own worst critic when you know that when you step out into the world, you will encounter other critics? If you are going to live the life you want to live, you will definitely come across people who will have an opinion on what you should do, how you should live and who you should be. That will never go away. However, if you love yourself unconditionally, then you’re the president of your own fan club. You are happy with who you are no matter what anyone says.

So don’t change your fierceness because someone else doesn’t like it. Often, people criticize others when they feel inadequate about themselves. You can be who you want to be and realize your dreams but you have to be willing to drown out the opinionated voices of others and stay true to yourself.

It’s okay to be different because, as I always say, there’s only one you in the world so you are different anyway. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. Stop trying to be like everyone else. Stop trying to fit in. You are unique. You are your own person. You have your own greatness. You have your own destiny and calling. Basically, you are YOU. And that’s a beautiful thing.

At the end of the day, you’re worth giving yourself the best life possible. That starts from within and making yourself happy. And you will be the happiest when you are being YOU fearlessly and without doubt. Not someone else’s version of who you should be. You have to shed that anxiety and fear of not being accepted or not being appreciated for your own greatness in order to be true to yourself.

As I told a dear friend the other night when we were discussing the plus size fashionistas that are all over New York City: While I love fashion, I am not a slave to fashion. I’m the everyday woman. I just want to look cute and put together when I go out. I love my personal style and I’m me. I’m not knocking any of the fashionistas out there. I say to them “You Go Girl!” But I am not trying to be someone I’m not. I’m staying true to myself. Because that is what my inner voice is telling me what to do and I am listening.

“Anybody pretending to be anything other than who you really are—you will never, ever reach your personal potential.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

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