Having the Courage to be Yourself
I have always wanted to work for myself, but it has taken me a good few years to get really clear on how and what and why. I have started so many things that I haven’t finished and I used to envy the people that just knew what they wanted to do from the get go!
Considering I was a shy, quiet child, who kept to myself and did my own thing, I think I surprised a few people (including myself) in constantly trying out new things. I think we all expected that I would just settle in some job and be happy there. But no, for some reason, I always felt there was more to do and more to try and more to see. Looking back now, I can see that I was always searching for myself and for the courage to be myself.
Over the last many years, I am finally beginning to see myself more clearly. I now know that I wasn’t just a ‘shy, quiet’ child - I am actually introvert. I didn’t realise that was even a thing and I didn’t know, until recently, what that meant for me. I began to realise that I wasn’t just being awkward and out of place in all the various jobs I had, but that I have a very deep desire to do my own thing and find what works for me. I began to realise more and more who I am, and I began to have the courage to more and more be myself.
And it does take courage. Because we worry about not being good enough as we are. We worry about what our friends and family will think when they get to know the 'real' us. We worry about being alone and criticised for who we are. As we begin to define ourselves, we begin to define our boundaries. And yes, by defining and keeping boundaries, some people will turn away from us. Because they won’t like the change and they won’t like those boundaries. So, initially, you may lose some friends and some connections. However, would you not rather have people who love you for who you are, rather than love you for someone you are not? I know I do.
It’s not easy. But trusting yourself, having the courage to be yourself, also means that you will attract people that will love you for whom you are. I bet that you already have friends that love you for whom you are, but you still feel like you have to pretend to be someone else. Because ‘what if they find out about you??’. Well, the thing is, they probably already know about you. If they are really good, close friends, then they have already seen enough of you to know who you are. And guess what? They are still around! Because they love you and accept you for who you are. And they appreciate that you are you. They know you aren’t perfect - none of us are. And they want to spend time with you, because they know that they can also be allowed to be themselves. Those are the kind of friendships and circles that you want in your life.
So what about the people that you don’t feel that kind of love and acceptance from? Do you just need to ditch them and move on? What about your family? They love you, right? But man, they just don’t seem to understand what you are trying to do! I know, I know - families can be tough. There is no right or wrong answer here. It really goes back to how you feel and what you want. That’s the whole point of this. You get to choose what you want, how to respond, and who to have in your life. If you know that there are people in your life that seem to bring you down, know that it has actually nothing to do with you. They are most likely jealous of your courage cos they feel stuck where they are and they don’t feel they have the same opportunities. It’s not your responsibility to fix that for them. They need to realise that for themselves. The best thing you can do to help anyone is to be the best version of yourself. To have the courage to be you.
I am not saying that by having the courage to be you, that you will never again compromise or do something that you don’t want to do. Life is challenging and there will be ups and downs that we can’t control. That doesn’t change. But, by having the courage to be yourself, you can get to choose how you react to these ups and downs. You can get to choose when it’s ok for you to compromise and which things are absolute deal breakers. And yes, it may mean that some people won’t like you and don’t want to hang out with you but, remember, by being yourself you will attract the people that love you and accept you for who you are.
It’s easy to get carried away. It’s easy to get distracted. Because at first, when you start carving out your own space, you will meet resistance from others and it can seem so much easier to just stay stuck. To just numb yourself out with more TV, Netflix, social media, alcohol, junk food, etc etc etc - and yes, in some ways that is easier. However, there will always be a part of you that isn’t settled. That can’t rest. That just doesn’t feel satisfied. Cos you know, deep down, that you aren’t living your best life. With time and practice, being yourself is actually a lot easier. It's a lot more satisfying and it's a huge relief! Cos you no longer need to pretend to be someone or something that you are not.
My number one reason for working for myself is to be able to be myself 100%. I want to work in a job that I love, and where I get to do the things that I enjoy. And where I get to work in an environment where my introverted, creative, quirky self thrives! That is my motivation for getting up in the morning and that is my motivation in everything that I do. I want to work in a space where I can have the courage to be myself.
And - in that space, I want to inspire and empower YOU to have the Courage to be yourself so that you can create and live the life that best works for you. Whatever that takes. Whoever that You is. Whatever that Life is. That is all I want to do.
Are you with me?