“Being yourself is one of the hardest things because it’s scary. You always wonder whether you’ll be accepted for who you really are” – Emmy Rossum
I can attest first-hand that opening yourself up to the world and showing everyone your true colors is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I always felt different, but I did my best to blend in to what I felt society, family and friends wanted me to be. I had to dress the way that was accepted, look the way that was accepted and act the way that was accepted. The end results of those efforts were depression, anxiety, resentment and frustration. I would watch other people and think to myself, “okay…..that’s what I need to be.” So, I would mold and shift who I was to fit what others viewed as “normal.” I became an expert at morphing from one person to another, depending on who I was with and what I felt their expectations of me where at the time. By doing so, I was attracting all of the wrong people into my life. The example I give to the people that come to see me is this: Let’s say you are joining an online dating site and you are setting up your profile. You list your favorite activities as hiking, parasailing and bar-hopping. This is the representative of who you really are on the inside, but you go with it because it’s what everyone else is doing. In reality, you are a shy introvert that hates the outdoors and never drinks. You are going to get date requests from people who truly like hiking and drinking, and you will go along with them because it’s what you feel you should be doing. But, deep down, you are miserable and can’t understand why you can’t find that perfect soul-mate that you so desperately want. It’s because you aren’t letting the world see you for who you really are. I wish I could count the number of bad relationships I have had because I wasn’t being true to myself. I went along with things because it was what I felt I SHOULD do.
Then, one day, something amazing happened. I let a couple of people catch a glimpse of the real me. I opened that door just a crack, gave them a peek, and then anxiously waited for their reactions. And you know what? The sky didn’t fall. The Earth didn’t shake. The world didn’t plummet into a dark abyss. What did happen was something beautiful. I began to realize that I wasn’t a horrible person. That there is a lot that I bring to this table of Life that no one else can bring. So, I opened the door a little bit more. I let more people see who I was on the inside. My true self. And even more beautiful things happened. Have I lost some people that didn’t jive with the real me? Absolutely. But the people that took their place I can honestly say are my real and true friends. Once I began letting the world see who I really was, I began attracting all of the RIGHT people to me. The people that love and appreciate me just the way I am. The people that I can talk to and share my ideas, talents and gifts.
I’ve come a long way in the last few years. When you release that burden of trying to “fit in”, it’s incredible the sense of peace you feel. We all have our own unique gifts, ideas, thoughts and talents. If you try to hide them from the word, just imagine the treasures that will never be uncovered. And what an incredible loss that would be.