Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Who are you?

Who are you? Who are you really? Many of us have so many personae that we have forgotten who we actually are. (I have told people for years that I am an asshole and I don't really care what people think of me.) We're afraid to show our true identities to the people around us. Why is this? Part of it is because we don't trust the people around us, at least not fully, and part of it is because we afraid of what these people will think of the true us (and I am sure there are other parts to the problem).

We want to fit in. We want to be a part of the "cool crowd." We want to be a leader or a manager or an artist or a gatekeeper or a star or a writer or anything else we can think of. We want to easily fit into a slot that any of these names will fit, even if it isn't who we are truly meant to be. We want people to understand us and respect us for who we are, even if we aren't really showing them who this is. We want to be just like them.

Our education systems drove out any and all individuality and creativity we had. If any small amount somehow survived school, it was quickly squashed during our first job. We're afraid to be an outlier. We're afraid to stand out. We're afraid of being labeled as different or strange or weird. This is all normal. These fears have been pounded into our heads for as long as we can remember. We know what it feels like to be bullied. While our fears make sense, they are holding us back from doing what we really want to do and what we are capable of doing.

No matter what we say or think we believe, there is always going to be a part of us that cares what other people think of us. What we fail to realize is there are always going to be people who like who we are and what we offer and those who hate who we are and what we have to offer. If this is going to be the case, wouldn't it be better to be true to who we are? We don't have to fit in with the "in" crowd. We can find our own crowd or start our own crowd.

You don't have to hide who you are. If people don't like you, that's their problem. It's okay to believe in yourself. It's okay to be a little arrogant. It's okay to have an ego. It's okay to believe your are right. If you are being true to yourself, then you are right. If the people around you don't agree, then oh well. Why should you care? There is never going to be just one right answer...your right isn't always theirs and their right isn't always yours.

Be you. Believe in this you. Stand up and speak loudly about anything you want to stand up and speak loudly about. Have opinions and share them. We're not going to create anything amazing by fitting in, following the crowd and not questioning things happening around us. Creativity doesn't come from being comfortable and always being true to yourself is usually uncomfortable.

Be proudly you. Be loudly you. Be you, not the one person other people think you should be. Speak your mind. Solve the problems in ways you think will work best, even if they are problems no one else sees. If you want a different outcome, then do things differently. Stop fearing being different or strange or unique or loud or weird or angry or happy or anything else you fear about yourself. Give this world you.

It's going to be scary. It will probably be hard. You are going to make some people angry. You are going to make some people happy. You will be called names and you will be looked up to. You will be right and you will be wrong. Through it all, just be you.

Who are you?

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