Don’t lose those parts of you that make you think outside the box. Don’t lose those parts of you that keep you grounded. Don’t lose those parts of you that make you laugh uncontrollably, love unconditionally and live unapologetically. Don’t keep trying to fit inside someone else’s lines. Don’t lose those parts of you that make you you.
It’s exhausting constantly trying to fit in. It’s exhausting because there is no one-size-fits-all, yet we pretend there is. But think ahead to your later years, when you’re looking back at what you’ve done. Do you really want to look back on yourself trying to be someone else, whether succeeding or not? We all have our own passions and dreams, our own perspectives and opinions. They don’t have to fit in to be successful or satisfying. No, they don’t have to fit in, but you have to have the courage to breathe life into them. You’re going to have to live with yourself every second of every day. Why not make those seconds your seconds? Because in the end, whatever you do with them, they’ll be known as your seconds. Don’t waste them masquerading as someone else.
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.
Sometimes the brightest stars are hidden behind the clouds. It’s become a pattern for us to compare ourselves to others. It’s become a pattern to focus heavily on our inabilities or failures. And it’s become a pattern to downplay our capabilities or achievements. We keep ourselves from shining brightly because we don’t think, we don’t believe, we’re good enough. But we are. We need to know that. We need to start sharing everything we have to offer. We need to be proud of ourselves. We need to have faith in ourselves, in the weird and wonderful ways that make us who we are. We need to start spreading our light to those who sit in the darkness. Don’t shut it out. Break those patterns and break the clouds.
Whatever you are, be a good one. Don’t live half-heartedly, mindlessly or absently. Live passionately, freely, and honestly. Be who you want to be and no other version. Don’t second guess it, but own it. We were all put on this earth for a reason – and it wasn’t to be the same.
It’s ok to live life out of sequence. It’s ok to live life back to front. It’s ok to live life off beat. There are no rules, no expectations, no destinies, except the ones we impose on ourselves. Live the life you want to live, regardless of the labels others try to place on you. To live life to the fullest, we sometimes have to take a leap of faith or take a second chance. And that might seem strange to others, but it doesn’t matter, as long as it feels right to you. Don’t let the misleading idea of ‘normality’ stop you from being who you want to be and doing what you love. It’s ok to live a life others don’t understand.
As the year draws to a close, we should ask ourselves: how well do we know ourselves and how are we honouring what we know? What are our strengths and have we been using them? What are our weaknesses and have we come to terms with them or turned them into positive actions? How do we feel, emotionally and physically? What do we want out of life and are we letting something or someone stop us? No matter what our answers, there’s scope to pledge to get to know ourselves better this upcoming year. We have so much to offer and so much to share. We have so much potential. And ultimately we are the only ones responsible for our lives, not anyone else. We shouldn’t let anyone dictate what we do or who we are. We shouldn’t be pretending to be someone else. We decide and we can change our minds. Let’s guide ourselves on our own magical journey and thrive.
As the year draws to a close, we naturally reflect on what has been and what will come, who we are and who we could be. And that is beautiful. But as we do so, I’m sure we’ll find that what has been and what will be one of our biggest challenges is the feeling of being good enough. Our dreams feel too high in the sky and our prizes too much like perfection. But the truth is we don’t need to be perfect to be happy or successful. We have a whole toolkit inside our minds, from positivity to confidence to endurance to creativity. And we can mess up, we can grow, we can embrace our flaws. We’ll always be good enough and worth so much. There’s no one like you or me. In this upcoming year, let’s not tell ourselves otherwise. Let’s not limit ourselves with self hate and self doubt. Let’s free ourselves and believe in ourselves. We’re really the only thing standing in our way of everything we want.
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.