Be who you are not who others are trying to persuade you to be
You are an expert. Yes an expert. You are an expert in being you. All your life you repeatedly test out ways of being you and discovering what works and does not work. Life is like a big experiment. There is a hypothesis, a test of sort and then learning. After each test there is an adjustment, tweaking or variation of a variable. Off you go to try again.
Being you is not just an experiment. It is a lifelong pursuit. It is about you listening to your internal radar and adjusting to other people, the environments and expectations you encounter. All are variables you do not have control over. This is why there is so much learning along the way.
Like an experiment though, the more you get clear about you, the more you learn to keep you constant and explore how you handle these variables.
The spectrum of life
Think of your life path. It is like a spectrum. At one end you know you but you do not know anything else. You are so new and undeveloped that you also do not know how to express you. You exist. You function. You respond.
Then you begin to grow, learn and mature. There is a regular buffering of encounters with others who offer and show you ways of being. The acculturation process unfolds. Soon you learn how to be and fit in to the culture and environment where you live. Strong forces will shape you. Your beliefs will vacillate between what are emerging as your own and those strongly imparted and reinforced by others.
As you evolve what you believe and value emerges. There is a point where you get a conscious sense of ‘this is who I am’. Testing out you is now a daily event. You emerge into life encounters being you. Sometimes we talk ourselves into staying in environments that go against our beliefs and values. We may say things like “this is for the experience” or ‘it’s a learning opportunity’ or ‘the money is good so just a little longer’. None of these reasons will be true if inside you are frustrated and thwarted.
Tipping over into being you
What happens at times is we sometimes tell ourselves we are being true to self when we actually are not. You will know this is not right because there will be a disconnect and an unsettling feeling. We often override or ignore these feelings for others reasons such as duty, perceived loyalty, obligation.
The tipping point is when you truly stand for you. Usually this happens with an event or a situation that builds to a crescendo. If you do not listen you will get the warning signs. Sometimes you can stay ignorant and someone else will show you. For example, a relationship ends or a job ends. Either you or the other initiates.
The ultimate goal is to be clear about who you are and stand in this clarity. You still grow, evolve and change. Yet the constant is you. You are living and working from an internal centred place. You are empowered in thought, decision and action. Values guide. Principles shape integrity. The measure becomes internal consistency and less about external validation.
Whether young or old the opportunity is always present to be you. There are examples of people in this world every day standing up for what they believe in with integrity and conviction. How you do this will be personal and part of your journey. You may be an example for one person, 100's or more. You do not know. It does not matter. What matters is being you.
Be who you are, not who others are trying to persuade you to be.