We live in a society that often asks us to be something other than ourselves. The pressures to change ourselves are everywhere. “Fitter” body, nicer clothes, whiter smile, better job, more money. We are constantly taught to strive for more and more, to focus all of our energy on improving ourselves and paying for solutions to problems that don’t actually exist. We’re taught that being ourselves is not enough. We have to be more.
We’re told that if we don’t do these things we won’t be accepted, we won’t be liked, we won’t be loved. We’re social creatures. We thrive on connection and belonging, on being a part of a whole. When we’re told that just being ourselves isn’t good enough and that we run the risk of being left out unless we change, we often cave under that pressure.
So we change. We do things we don’t like because we feel we have to. We try and replace our personalities with “better” ones, ones that we’re told and that we tell ourselves are more palatable.
“This’ll do it, now I’ll be happy!” But it never works. Inside, we know its false. It’s exhausting, all the work to change a thing that really can’t be changed, that doesn’t need to be changed.
If we spend so much time and energy pretending to be something we aren’t, we never get a chance to pursue the things that we really want. We run the risk of missing out on the friends, hobbies, and jobs that would really fulfill us and make us happy. We risk never allowing ourselves to find our own paths, to fill our lives with purpose and meaning on our own accord.
Alright, alright, alright. Enough with the doom and gloom. Solutions. What are the solutions to this problem? How do we stop pretending and start living life the way we want? Well, it starts with accepting ourselves. If you’ve spent a lot of time being told you’re not good enough, it’s time to start telling yourself you are. We need to break down those patterns, that negative self-talk we’ve carried around for too long.
Reinvest in yourself. Take time to really consider what it is you want. What will make you happy? What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? Allow yourself that. Allow yourself to take care of yourself. Start to strip away the pieces of your life you’ve taken on because you felt you had to, and start to uplift and rebuild the pieces you want.
You have nothing to prove to anyone. You don’t need to change and beg to be loved and accepted. I can guarantee that the authentic you is brimming with wonderful things to share with the world. Recognize those things in yourself, allow yourself to see the things that are special about you. Your talents, your interests, your thoughts and feelings. Share that beauty with the people around you. Don’t allow the fear of rejection to hold you back. There are always people out there who will love and support you for who you truly are. I’m one of them!
Tell yourself that you’re beautiful, because you are. Tell yourself that you’re enough, because you are. Tell yourself that you deserve to be happy, because you do. Push back against all the voices in your life that tell you otherwise. Drown them out with positive affirmations. You deserve it!