You were created for connection. This is without a doubt one of the foundational truths of your life. You are not meant to walk through life alone. However, somewhere along the line, we received the notion, that formed into a belief system, that in order to connect with others, we have to pretend to be something we’re not. Much like chameleons, some of us find ourselves stuck in this pattern of becoming like the people around us so that they’ll like us more. Maybe that’s you, too.
I wonder what would happen if we turned that perspective around? Think about small children and how they like to play “copycat.” They begin by following someone around, then start repeating what they say and do. Pretty soon, the unintentional leader is pulling at their hair because they don’t see a friend or companion with them, they feel like they’re being mocked.
This scene plays out in pop culture as well. Think about movies: the popular kids always have sidekicks who look up to them to say and do things in the same way. Friendship cannot be bloom out of robotic repetition, it has to come from a place of authenticity, sincerity, and support. It’s not about a leader and followers, but people doing life together.
In order to break free from this mold, you have to make an important but difficult choice: you have to decide that the opinions of others are not as important to you as how you feel about yourself. It’s much more difficult to put into practice than it is to say, trust me, I get it, but think about it this way.
We live in a digital world. If you post something publicly online (meaning more people than just friends and close family will see it), you are bound to face some people who will criticize what you have posted. Whether this be your words, actions, videos, pictures… there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you do. Now read this clearly, and repeat it to yourself as often as you need to, “It has nothing to do with you.”
You are beautiful. You are wonderful. You have been perfect since birth. Sure, you’ve made some mistakes and you’re still making some, but mistakes are a part of being human, a part of being real. Authentic people, the kind that you want in your life, are not drawn to people who hide behind masks and try to perfect themselves to be someone they’re not. Authentic people want to see people’s hearts: the good, the bad, and the ugly, because THAT is how connection takes place.
The world is filled with differing opinions. Choose to believe the best about yourself. Choose to shape the opinion you have about who you are. Because I promise you, who you are is amazing.