By Lindy Earl
Have you ever felt like you were wearing a mask? I did – a lot! I tried so hard to be the person that others would like. To be the person that people would want to talk to. The person who was fun and witty. The person who was a good listener but offered good advice. I wanted to be everything to all people.
We all know that that does not work.
What are the ramifications of wearing a mask, and trying to be what everyone wants? For some, it cost them relationships. Hear me out – I know more than a few people who, when their truly sexuality was exposed, lost family and friends. To a lesser degree, being someone we are not costs us the joy of being who we are. We are trying so hard to make others happy that we don’t think about what makes us happy.
Don’t you know people who allowed their parents to choose their careers for them? Now, sometimes that works! No worries. But I also know a physician who quit at age 40 and became an elementary teacher because that’s what he wanted, but he couldn’t do it while his parents were alive – or so he thought. Parents want their children’s happiness above all things, or should!
So, first, do not be what you are not. I grew up as the only tone deaf child in a very musical family. I tried for years to be part of the group, even auditioning for musicals in high school because that’s what my family did. Not surprisingly I was always relegated to the chorus while siblings shined as leads. I was simply in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. I was not made to sing aloud, not even in the shower. It’s okay.
So while you’re busy walking away from the places where you don’t belong, you need to walk toward the place where you do belong. Embrace who you are, not who you want to be or somebody wants you to be.
What do you really enjoy? Can you find a way to make a living at that? If so, go for it. If not, enjoy it as a hobby.
Be who you are and enjoy living in your own skin. I have spent so many hours sitting through lectures and seminars and other things that I just did not enjoy, and mostly without the joy of electronic devices that today can transport you out of a bad presentation.
So, if you’re a hummer, then go ahead and hum. Talk to yourself out loud if that’s who you are. Ask questions when you have them rather than fearing what others would think. Stop worrying about what others might think and be the person inside you who is dying to get out!
This will all help you accept yourself. You’re really okay the way you are! Maybe somebody else has more money or more talent or more energy. That doesn’t make them better, it makes them, them. That person is already taken so don’t try to be them.
The biggest joy of embracing your inner you is that, as you do so, you will attract people who like you for you. They are going to enjoy your sense of humor, not the jokes you learn because you think others will like them. They will enjoy your stories, your thoughts, your feelings. You will find that people are attracted to how genuine you are, because you’re no longer pretending to be someone you’re really not.
And, really, why do you want to be anyone else, anyway? That’s a lot of energy and work, when you can wake up and just be the person you are meant to be.
I learned the hard way and way too late in life to be myself. When I finally started embracing my real self, I was surprised and, honestly, confused, that people could like me. I didn’t think I was that great – not as good as when I was trying to appeal to everyone! But, in truth, people like the genuine real me under all the false characteristics I tried on over the years. How refreshing!
That’s Life After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.
* Contact her at Ask@LindySpeaks.com to submit a question for her Advice Column or hire her as a Consultant or to speak at your next event.
* Find her on Face Book and join the group, Single Again: From Devastation to Dating, on FB.
* Purchase her latest book, Surviving Holidays and Events After Divorce at
http://www.lindyspeaks.com/Products.html for $8.00 (half off Amazon’s price).