The nice-to-haves but not need-to-haves: approval, the next big thing, a particular type of education, endless time, outcomes that exceed expectations, a title. You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter who you are or what you have. Only you are in control of your success, your happiness, your life. Don’t put it in the hands of others. Just do you.
What does it mean to grow up? Growing up is often muddied with seriousness and responsibility, and we interpret it as being tied down. But whilst we should keep our inner child within, growing up and taking responsibility for yourself is empowering, fulfilling and liberating. Because the best part of growing up is defining who we’re going to be, owning it and running with it. It takes courage, and that’s why so many of us suck at it. But it will be so worth it. Growing up isn’t something to shrink away from or fight against, it’s something to embody and embrace.
There’s so much noise in our heads about who we should be, most of it being others’ expectations and norms. But we can’t live life by someone else’s rules and we shouldn’t have to fit in someone else’s box. It can be hard to sift through all the noise, but somewhere buried deep you’ll find your own voice, your own thoughts and your own feelings. Take a moment and ask yourself: When are you at your best? When are you the happiest? When do you feel most comfortable? Who are you when no one is watching? Who are you when you don’t give a damn? What do you love about yourself? What would you like to be better at? There are no right way to be. But there is a right way to be you, and that’s just to be yourself, whoever that is. Be aware of it and let it vibrate through you. There’s no other way to be.
Be unapologetically you. We all have so much to give, and that gift is beyond rules, regulations and labels. Our thoughts, beliefs and attitude define who we are. Our actions, our gestures, and our quirks define who we are. Our passion, our words and our lifestyles define who we are. We define who we are. We might never be fully satisfied with who we are, but there’s no need to hide ourselves away. There’s plenty of space for everyone to express themselves. Being unapologetically you is the best thing you can do.
We are all beautiful. So whether we think we stand out for being too extraordinary or blend in for being too ordinary, we need to let it go and let our beauty shine. Let go of the expectations, of the labels, of the restrictions, and let’s just be ourselves. We all have so much to offer just the way we are. Don’t hide who you are away. Be a fruit loop in a world of cheerios. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a cheerio. As long as you do you.
From a young age, we are ingrained with a sense of needing to belong. Some of us grow out of it, but many of us still battle with belonging. Our idea of belonging is wanting to fit in and not wanting to end up being labelled differently. But we all belong. There is a place for all of us. Where we are now is where we’re meant to be. But where we are now is not where we’ll always be. We can decide where we want to go. We can decide where we want to stay. And we’ll always belong. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.
As much as there is a pressure to conform, there is also, on the opposite side of the spectrum, an overwhelming need to be original, to be extraordinary, to be unforgettable. Of course, we can be. But sometimes when we don’t live up to our high expectations, we view ourselves as failures, as ordinary, and as not being good enough. But that is far from the truth. Whether we are testing the limits of possibility or reaching for a dream held by so many others, whether we are being ‘extraordinary’ or ‘ordinary’, it doesn’t matter, as long as we are being ourselves. It can be challenging, but as long as we are sticking to our own principles and following our own passions, our life will be as abundant as anybody else’s, however much more extraordinary their’s seems. Be you.