You are unique. We all are.
I love the irony and truth in this statement. We are unique, we are individual. Every single one of us has our own story, our own interests, our own joys, our own heartaches. We each see the world through the lens of our own experiences. In this way there isn't just one world, there are potentially 7 billion unique worlds.
Most of us aren't able to be ourselves much of the time. There are many influences that shape and mould our experience of the world - society, family, religion and brands to name but a few. In order to control us, whether that be for our own safety, to preserve the status quo or just to be able to sell products to us more easily, these forces steadily eat away at our inner resolve and we lose our sense of individuality.
The power of aspiration is used to seduce us. Influencers and celebrities model the latest fashions and products. The subconscious sense of aspiring to be like them, look like them or live like them fools many people into a copycat lifestyle.
I get it. It's easier to fit in rather than to stand out. Standing out takes courage and resolve. The problem is though when we abandon our true selves, disguise our inner uniqueness, when we hide our flaws, cover our quirks, pretend to be something we aren't then we are creating a huge void within. Ironically the pain of the void between who we pretend to be and who we really are is far, far greater in the long run than the pain it takes to be yourself in the first place.
I'm not relating this to being a success in any way. I'm talking about the basic, personal premise of accepting yourself totally for what you are, without judgement, and then taking the first steps to live that version of yourself more and more of the time. This could be through the clothes you wear. The side hustle you develop. Saying NO more of the time when you would have said YES and regretted it.
It could be something as simple as wearing pink socks to brighten up a grey work suit. It could be the tattoo you've always wanted to get but were afraid of what your grandma would think. It could be admitting you like listening to opera when everybody else hates it.
It doesn't matter. It starts with a single step. A tiny movement towards reclaiming yourself. Momentum builds. Habits shift. Attitudes change.
When you start to accept yourself more and more without judgement, you will have much more energy and time. You wouldn't believe how much effort you are unwittingly putting in to maintaining the life you don't even fully know yet that you don't even want! Whooah it's complicated. It doesn't need to be though.
Before I finish though I want to point out two of the most important words in this entire piece - 'without judgement'. These two words are life changing. Everything shifts internally when we adopt an attitude where we look to ourselves 'without judgement'. I will go into this in much more detail in a future post, but until then consider approaching yourself with less and less judgement and see if you can notice a difference in how you experience yourself and the world.