The quote that inspired this post is “Remember, it’s OK to be yourself” by Richard Branson. It is so simple but so important. Many of us don’t tell ourselves this simple line often enough. And when I do, it takes me a moment to appreciate the power in saying it.
Nowadays, it’s difficult to not compare yourself to others. With people’s lives displayed online in various forms, it’s not easy to just be our ‘real’ selves without being affected by everything we’re seeing and reading. Especially with social media, where we’re constantly seeing ‘amazing people’ with ‘amazing lives’ doing ‘amazing things’. We can’t help feeling more pressure to do better and be greater.
Of course, this is my perspective and we’re all different. But, when I read this quote “Remember, it’s OK to be yourself” it hit a cord. I feel like there is a big unique person inside of little me, dying to jump out and express herself. This got me thinking even more. How perhaps we hold back because we don’t want to make ourselves vulnerable. If we were to express who we really are in all our entirety, what if we weren’t accepted? What if we were judged, laughed at, and rejected? Perhaps it is better to tone ourselves down a little and blend in with the world around us?
From my own personal experience, I know that is what I do. I share a little of me, and a little more in my happiest moments. But it’s rare that I share my whole self in every moment, in everything I do. After checking out so many successful people, I really believe that that is what sets them apart. They have connected with themselves, and are doing what truly makes them come alive. By doing this, they stand out from the crowd, and boom, they’re noticed by the world. They make an impact.
This quote stopped me in my tracks a couple weeks ago, and I have read it over and over again:
Remember, it’s OK to be yourself.
Being you is more than enough.
I can imagine that some may read this quote and think “Mmmm, I am not sure who I am is enough”. Or, “Mmmm, what I want is silly.” Or, “Really?! If I showed people the real me, they’ll go running in the other direction!”.
Actually, when you are the real you, your best self, you’re far more likely to attract other like-minded people. You’ll find yourself connecting with others who motivate you to be even MORE of you. When you find others from your ‘tribe’ as some like to call it, it’ll feel good. When I hang out with people at the yoga studio, it makes me feel good. We connect in some way, and it makes me love yoga even MORE.
Do more of what you enjoy most.
It made me think about what ‘the real me’ really and truly enjoys most in life. I waited for that soft voice inside me, wondering what it would say. I knew that I wanted something and just needed to listen to myself.
Turns out, I wanted more freedom to be me.
More freedom and time to explore other interests. More freedom to step out of the monotonous 9-5 drill, and to instead experience more of life.
That was the big change my little voice wanted: To leave 9-5 and go solo.
Oh boy, when you listen to what you really want, you’ll start having some big decisions to make.
I knew that I needed to leave 9-5, and break out into the wonderful world. I knew that, for as long as I could remember, I didn’t love the 9-5. No matter what the job, after some time I would naturally start feeling trapped. Like I couldn’t freely move and grow in my own way. So, if I was to be true to myself, I needed to leave the 9-5 to be my happiest.
Often when we’re considering doing something, we’ll start thinking of reasons why it’s not a good idea. Of all the things that may go wrong. But, I knew I needed to do it anyway because I would never enjoy the 9-5 lifestyle. We sometimes feel these pressures from societies, to be a certain way. You know, ‘leaving a 9-5 is crazy, it’s tough out there freelancing’. I just thought you know what, this is me and it’s okay to be me. This is what I want. Let me trust myself and give it a go.
Be brave and go for what you want most.
From May onwards, I leave 9-5 and enter into a whole new world. That was a tough decision to make. Because you are trusting in yourself completely. You’re leaving the security of a monthly paycheck, and going out to make cool stuff happen and bring in the money. No pressure (yeah right).
I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. And even though it’s a little scary, I am still more excited at the unknown than anything else. My excitement outways everything else. Although I still find myself going… Eek! Exciting! Crazy! Eek!
What do you want or need right now?
So, find a quiet moment in your busy day and ask yourself this one question: What do I want?. What does the ‘real you’ deep down want right now? What’s that one lifestyle change you want to make?
Listen for a while for an answer. Give yourself time, asking the question again if necessary. Listen for it. What’s the first thing you ask for? Is it more freedom like me? Is it something else? Perhaps to lose excess weight or leave a toxic relationship? Perhaps it’s to change careers completely or move to another city? Or something smaller like spending more time outside?
Keep the answer close, and think about it.
Let it percolate.
Then decide what you are going to do, put a plan together, and go for it.
Step by step you will get there. We really do know a lot of the answers already, if we just listen. We know ourselves pretty well, and when we make an effort to truly connect with ourselves, we can have some pretty amazing breakthroughs, big and small.
There are many big and small changes you can make to your life right now, that will make the ‘real you’ so much happier. And when you are happy, you attract more of the good stuff. Happy self, happy life.
Create a life you love living in.
It’s okay to be you and to want what you want. You may love your 9-5 or you may be someone who lives out in the forest with no electricity.
I don’t think leaving 9-5 is the thing everyone should do, it’s just what I think works for me. It’s a little experimental, and what I need to try.
But we are all different. So think about what you want out of your life and start working towards that wonderful life.
Try this exercise:
Get a big piece of paper, colourful pens and a cup of tea or coffee. Find somewhere nice to sit for an hour. Perhaps in the living room in the morning sun on a Saturday. Set up in a place where you feel most relaxed and comfortable. Now, on your page, write down this one line in the middle and enclose it in a cloud.
“Things I love doing”
Now, with or without music on, zone out for 60 minutes. For the next hour, just fill the page around it with all the things you love doing. You can categorize them if you like, or you can focus them on a particular part of your life, like your career. This is simply to spend some quality time with yourself, discovering what you love doing most.
Think about what you love. Work on listening to yourself, and not making your choices solely with your mind or based on what you’ve read or seen. Focus on really listening to yourself through the clutter. What you enjoy spending your time on tells a lot about a person.
Fill up the page. Keep adding more, stretch your mind, dig deep. These are the things you love doing. And so? In this life, it’s important you do more of them. Spend as much time as possible doing more of the things you enjoy doing. Of course, if you just want to play computer games and eat pizza, you might have a problem. However, you could build an online business and enough passive income to support even that life.
This exercise is to simply reconnect with yourself. When I do this exercise, I find it a little tough in the beginning, and once I connect with my real self, I fill the page rather quickly. It reconnects me with myself, and I feel inspired. I am reminded of who I am at my core, and what makes me feel good. And they’re often not things I do often at all. It’s like I’m denying myself these pleasures (like visiting cafes to drink coffee and write), because I feel like it’s a luxury and there are more important things to do.
Society puts ideas in our heads, and it’s important to check in every so often. We need to learn to prioritize better, and spend our time more wisely. Doing more of what makes us come alive is a good thing. This makes us shine, and inspire others with our happy energy. It’s a good thing.
By connecting with your unique self, and finding a way to share it with the world in a positive way, you are winning. And, at the same time, you are creating a life that allows you to live your best life in the best possible way.
How exciting is that? We’re all unique and have something special to share with the world. And all it requires is for you to be yourself – Connect with who you really are, and then work on becoming the best version of it.
Remember, it’s OK to be yourself.
That’s when the magic happens. You stand out, you shine, you glow.
So let that flag shine. Hey world, hello! It’s me!