“To Be Nobody But Yourself…”

Inspiration / Self-Improvement

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are

It is distressingly easy to be someone we’re not.

To do things or say things or buy things in hopes of appearing more important, more interesting, more intelligent, and more affluent than we really are.

To omit, sit silently and tell little white lies.

And it happens so innocently and subtly…..

When we don’t ruffle any feathers…

When we tone it down…

When we bite our tongues…

When we don’t rock any boats…

When we keep quiet instead of piping up…

When we don’t want to be an inconvenience or a burden to anyone else….

When we blend in with the crowd and look just like everyone else…

But when we do these things, it’s hard to stay true to ourselves. To show our real selves. To be authentic.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”

– e.e. cummings

If only peer pressure were confined to middle schools and high schools. Unfortunately, that pressure to conform, to fit in, follows us throughout our lives. It manifests in keeping up with “The Joneses”, in climbing the ladder at the office, in keeping the peace with our family and friends even if it conflicts with our values and beliefs.

Multi-media advertising bombards us in a million little ways with how we should look and what we should want. Our family, our community, and our faith expect us to behave according to certain norms and beliefs. Our employers,clients and customers demand we look, act and speak in certain way.

It’s one of the great paradoxes in my life: that, while I value sincerity and authenticity in others, I still struggle with selling myself out from time to time. Usually in one of the oh-so-innocent and subtle ways. So this I continue to work on…

For all the talk about “finding” ourselves, maybe the hardest part is really “being” ourselves. Our real selves…..

Do you also struggle with having the courage to just be yourself?

This is Day Seven of The Pinterest Therapy Sessions. Click here to read the rest of the series.

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4 Comments

  1. Oh man – I can’t tell you how much and in all the ways that I love this post. And the e.e. cummings quotes…two of my favorites from one of my favorite poets. It’s so sadly true that the pressures to conform and to deny that true sense of self are all around us and follow us through life. And it’s a relief to find others who extol the virtues of staying true to ourselves. I’m bookmarking this. And sharing.

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  2. I think it’s very easy to look at what others have and want it, but honestly at the end of the day, I’d rather be me, warts and all. It’s too much work to try to be anything different, and honestly, it would be hard to feel authentic. That said, I’m still going to pin all sorts of things I’m never going to make. Pinterest is like dream land.

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  3. When I was younger I was desperate to fit in. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that every time I have the opportunity to do so I end up unhappy. It really would be best to just ‘do me’. I’m pretty good at that online; not so much in real life.

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  4. I defenitely used to struggle with this in terms of wanting different things out of life… Every girl I knew in college was on the hunt for a husband and a baby and spent her spare time perfecting her baking skills. I ran so far in the opposite direction of that that I still sort of lost track of myself in the rebellion.

    Nowadays I think the work thing hits the hardest– I feel the need to “prove myself” by climbing the ladder though I’m not sure who I’m trying to impress? The imaginary people I argue with in my head while I’m showering or at a red light?

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