When we are young, we are more comfortable with who we are.
We know what we love to do and we never have to explain it to anyone. It’s perfectly acceptable to play dress up or spend hours reading a book. Our imagination takes us where everywhere we want to go and our dreams are just beyond that next corner.
Yet as we get older, some of that confidence starts to wane.
We start to believe that the “normalcy” of society sets the tone and the rules of who we become. Logic and reason become to take their place as we grow into “adulthood” – complete with responsibilities and expectations. As we age, we start to lose “who” we are and are quickly suffocated by “what” we are.
Somewhere along the way, we forget who we are.
The things that once brought us great joy are now stuck in the corner, collecting dust.
On occasion, they get a quick glance between your daughter’s dance recital and the family dinner for your father in law’s birthday celebration. Working 40 hours feels like you should have more time in your day to do a few things you want to do, but where do you fit it in?
No matter how busy our lives are, we are doing ourselves a disservice by not being true to ourselves. We are the examples for our children and by living our lives complimentary of who we are grants them permission to do the same.
Because you are incredibly busy, here are 7 easy ways to show the world who you really are:
1. Listen to your heart.
No matter how old we get or what we choose to do for a job, our heart still knows what we love most. Too often, we pretend our heart isn’t saying anything important and yet it knows us best. We try to rationalize and justify why we need to silence our heart, sometimes feeling guilty when it comes to the surface even in the smallest of ways.
2. Find your bliss.
Some of us don’t know where to start so we never begin anything. However, we can all find something that makes us incredibly happy and gleeful. We can look back at our childhood for the silly moments of splashing through the rain puddles or coloring to fill a room with laughter. Ask yourself, “What brings me joy?” PURE joy.
3. Love who you are.
We are all different and the things you think are weird about you might be one of the things I loved most about you. Whether you be witty, athletic, or an artist, know your personality and everything that comes with it. Your story has shaped you in some way and no doubt affected you. Your road may have been something you wish you had not traveled, but even the wrong road has a way of impacting you.
4. Challenge what you already know.
Once we get out of school, we forget to be students again. One of the best things about being human is that we can be taught new things all the time and those new ideas and perspectives allow us to gain new knowledge. Be the seeker of the adventure, the student of the lesson, and the beginner of new things. Allow yourself to be curious about life.
5. Be bold with opportunities.
They say chances come “once in a lifetime” for a reason. Too often, we have missed an opportunity because made one of many excuses – usually claiming “someday” as the moment we will be brave enough to take it. Say “yes” to things without the drawn out plan or the safety net below – be a little impulsive and spontaneous once in a while. In those moments, you always feel the most alive.
6. Allow yourself to feel.
As we age, we tuck away our feelings, knowing we need to be strong and brave for those around us. Instead, we lock up all of our feelings – we never shed a tear in front of others just as we never celebrate a happy moment. Growing up, we might have been told that “feelings just get in the way of the day” and you never forgot it. Emotions make you human and allow use to connect with one another without words.
7. Leave nothing left behind.
It’s easy to pretend something doesn’t matter and to leave it on the “list” of wishes that never come true. We have but ONE life with no dress rehearsal so we might as well go “big.” Don’t be left with a pile of regrets because you made excuses your entire life. Whether it be words you ache to say or something you always wanted to do, do it. Just do it.
Life is short and altering who we are to fit into society’s rules inhibit who we are, what we believe, where we find the good things. We have forgotten what it feels like to be alive — to appreciate our differences from one another and yet embrace our own personalities, our own stories, and our own dreams.
We have put it all aside to follow the “norm” believe that we must only have one or the other.
What more of a greater testament to the story of us than to tell it wholeheartedly.
To be seen when we are vulnerable…to do something exhilarating and fun…to learn something new.
No matter who we are or where we come from, these simple reminders of life will always be what grounds us when we feel lost and yet invigorate us just the same.