How many times have you been told to “just be yourself”? Probably more times than you can count. It’s always said with good intentions as if being yourself is the easiest thing you’ll ever do. It is, but it is so not. Why? Most people have no idea who they really are.
When someone asks you who you are, what do you say? Do you start with where you’re from or where you went to school? Or do you list off your accomplishments and the labels you’ve collected over the years? Or, like most of us, do you do all of the above? Instead of focusing on who we are, we focus on our stories, self-imposed judgments, and societal labels. Basically, we talk about all the things sitting outside on the surface. Very rarely do we go any deeper than our likes or dislikes. We don’t realize all the surface stuff isn’t really who we are.
Our true selves are who we are when we let everything go. Under all the labels, all the stories, and all the judgments lie the truth of who we are. That can be some scary shit.
When you drop the pretense, the labels, and stories, what do you have left? More importantly, do you like what you have left? Is the woman behind the job title someone you can be proud of?
I know this is a post full of questions, but figuring out who you are and who you want to be is all about answering the questions you’re afraid of. It’s about taking the time to get to know you.Getting to know who you are can be time-consuming, difficult and a little bit scary. It requires you to take a long, hard look in the mirror and not turning away if you don’t like what you see. You have to get deep down in your shit and remember who you were before life taught you shame and embarrassment. Trust me, it takes hours of reflection, tears, and silence. But when you uncover who you are under all of that, you become a force to be reckoned with.
Personally, I am always on the road to self-discovery because who you are is fluid. The things I knew to be true 10 years ago, I’m no longer sure about and things I’m sure about now, I never knew existed before. I’m sure in another decade I’ll have learned a ton of new things about myself that I can’t even begin to fathom right now. All of that is all good. What I do know is that I am not my job, my bank account, my wardrobe, my relationship status or anything else outside of me. What I am, and what you are is so much more, so get to figuring it out.