You know how we start thinking of what people think of us when we’re young?
Some time around puberty, I think it is. It’s something we do as kids – it’s something that happens because we feel it is so important to fit in. It makes sense, and I guess it’s only natural too, considering everything that happens to us at that age. But then, for some reason, many of us don’t grow out of that phase. It sticks to us even through our adult lives. We just want to be part of something. We want to be someone.
But think about it: aren’t you already someone?
Of course you are! You are you. Don’t let go of yourself just to fit in or to please others, or because it’s easier being someone else.
Think of what you do to yourself when you’re hiding the real you. I think you can figure that out yourself, can’t you?
You’re only hurting yourself. You’re only making things worse. Nothing and no one is worth that.
A few days ago, my brother did an incredibly brave thing (and he was the one who inspired this post). For a long time he has struggled with depression, and last year he received a tough diagnosis from the doctors, which only made his depression worse.
He felt like he always needed to hide all of this, only telling his close friends and family. And well, it didn’t really make anything better or easier – quite the contrary.
But then a few weeks ago, while visiting me here in Australia, something happened to him. Suddenly everything changed – he changed – and he realised that he didn’t need to hide who he was any longer. His diagnosis and everything that involves is part of him, but it does not define him. It’s there, but it does not have to stop him or push him into some hole or corner he doesn’t want to sit in.
I was so proud of him, seeing the huge progress he made. He’s a brilliant example showing that it is possible to allow yourself to be you – just as you are – and that that’s more than good enough. You are nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what or who you are, or what you’re struggling with.
There’s no need to desperately try to fit in. Just be you and the people around you will appreciate you for who you are and what you do.
And the ones who won’t, don’t deserve your time and energy anyway!
So relax. Take a deep breath. You’re fine – just as you are and everything around you.