When I was 3, I was a confident kid who was also pretty stubborn but had a zest for life. I followed my heart.
When I was 6, I was starting to realise that to be accepted by others I might need to do things differently. I lied A LOT to make myself look good to others.
When I was 10, I remember trying to fit in with a clique of girls, desperately wanting to be their friend. So much that I let them make fun of me. I was learning to de-prioritised myself to fit in and belong.
When I was 13, I found a group of girls who got me. But by that stage, we were all awkward and insecure that we just helped each other feel good in ourselves without actually healing anything. So this just reinforced how much I needed others to feel ok.
When I was 15, I went to France on my own. How do I fit in to a whole new culture- who do I need to be? Actually who am I? In those 4 months I become super introverted, deeply self reflective and majorly independent.
When I was 16, I came back from France and found it really hard to fit back in. I had outgrown who I had been in my group of friends but still wanted to fit in with my friends. Growing pains. Regression. Confusion.
When I was 18, I had become a queen chameleon. Blending in with my surroundings. There was a home michelle, with friends michelle, at work michelle.
I could go on but it actually made me feel BORED having to go through all the different milestone ages and I was STILL conforming. STILL ignoring my deepest desires. STILL working out who I was. More like who I wanted to be.
I know that I am not alone. This journey is not unique to me. It is something that we have all experienced. Morphing into who we think we need to be in order to have other people approve and love us.
But it is such bull shit. Because we can do everything we think they want us to do and yet they will still not be happy. But I can guarantee that we will ALWAYS be unhappy when we don’t follow our own desires.
So let’s analyse the trade offs:
When we follow what other people want for us; they might be happy, but we will definitely be unhappy.
When we follow what WE want; they might be happy or not, but we will definitely be happy.
Which scenario is the best?
Let’s face it, we aren’t going to be loved by everyone all the time. It’s not possible. We don’t love everyone all of the time so it’s unfair to expect that of others. Instead we need to be OK with not getting approval from others. We need to be our own best support and best cheerleader. No-one will ever be as invested in your life as you.
It’s time to be OK with YOU. It’s time to really own your desires and be confident in that direction. It’s time to start being your own best friend. I’m not saying it’s easy but it is the best path to follow for your ultimate happiness.
By the way, now I am 30 and can confidently say each day I am becoming more and more ME. The person I am at home, in my relationships, in my career – all the same person. And I love her, warts and all. Wasn’t an easy journey to get here. And each day I have to choose between what will make me liked versus what will make me happy. But it’s now a conscious decision I am aware of and most of the time I am choosing me over others.
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