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It’s the most paramount decision you’ll ever make in life—accepting yourself for who you are with all your intricate details and the quirks that make you, well, you.
While growing up, everyone is different. You have your jocks, preps, nerds, theater kids; the list goes on and on. And if you were anything like me, you wanted to try a bit of everything (within reason, of course).
To join every club, play every sport, be friends with everyone, but most importantly, to keep an open mind. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), life doesn’t work out that way.
We’re constantly bombarded with images and ideas of who we should be and what we should do. Magazines, TV shows, the internet, they all tell us the same thing—be someone else.
But at what cost? When do we finally stop and ask ourselves, “Who am I?” And more importantly, “Who do I want to be?”
It’s a daunting question, for sure, but it’s one that we all have to answer for ourselves.
So how do you choose yourself in a world that tells you to be someone else? It’s not easy, but it is possible.
Here are a few tips:
1. Listen to your heart.
Everyone has that one friend who is always talking about following their heart. And usually, we all just nod and smile because what else are you going to do? But the thing is, maybe we should all start listening to our hearts a little bit more.
After all, our heart knows us better than anyone else. It knows our deepest desires and what makes us happy. So why not let it be our guide? So, if you’re feeling lost or uncertain, take a step back and listen to your heart. It will tell you precisely what you need to do.
2. Follow your passion.
Passion is a funny thing. It’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. And when you’re passionate about something, it shows. You’re excited, motivated, and engaged. Passion is the key to happiness.
Of course, it’s not always easy to find your passion. Sometimes, it takes a lot of exploring and trying new things before finding something that really clicks for you. Though once you find it, there’s no turning back.
Your passion will become a part of who you are, and it will shape your life in ways you could never have imagined.
3. Be yourself, unapologetically.
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to be someone you’re not. We see people around us living their lives, and we compare ourselves to them, looking for ways that we fall short. But the truth is, there’s only one you in this world, and that’s a good thing!
You have your own unique set of experiences, skills, and perspectives, and the world needs that. So don’t be afraid to let your true self shine through. Be confident in who you are, and don’t apologize for it. The world will be a better place for it.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others.
The quote that is often misattributed to Theodore Roosevelt: “Comparison is the thief of joy” is absolutely accurate. Constantly comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to destroy happiness. After all, it’s impossible to be someone else, so why try?
Comparison will only leave you feeling frustrated and unhappy. Instead of focusing on what others have or what you don’t have, focus on your own unique gifts and talents. Appreciate what makes you different from everyone else. That’s what makes you unique.
So don’t compare yourself to others. It’s a wasted effort that will only lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Instead, embrace your uniqueness and let it shine.
5. Do what makes you happy.
We all want to be happy, but sometimes, it can feel like a real struggle to find happiness. We may think that we need to meet certain conditions or achieve specific goals before we can be truly happy.
In actuality, however, happiness comes from within. It’s not something that we can get by chasing after external things. So what’s the secret to happiness? The answer is simple: do what makes you happy.
Of course, it’s not always easy to figure out what makes us happy. But once we figure it out, it’s essential to pursue it with all our heart, whether it’s spending time with loved ones, traveling to new places, or simply doing something we’re passionate about.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose who you want to be.
I know all of these things are easier said than done, but it’s worth it. The life you want is waiting for you—you just have to choose yourself.