It took me a long time to realise how much power there was in being myself and the more I'm true to my genuine being and worry less about what other people think, the more I'm appreciated. Funny how that works isn't it? The less I try to impress and the less I concern myself with how I'm perceived by others the more positively I'm received. I believe that people can feel your sincerity. Do all that you do in ernest and even if people do not particularly like you, they will find it very hard to disrespect you. People used to tell me that I have 'no filter' and I never took offence but I didn't ever feel like it was very accurate. I have a filter, I do think before I speak, but I say what I believe with candour and it is a trait I've always had. It isn't something I ever really considered to be of any significance, but it's a quality that I have come to realise is a good one. It's what allows me to sit here and write these posts and have my words resinate with my readers. It's a quality that allows me to be a good teacher and a good friend. It helps to give people confidence that I am a decent person and although I can get a bit heated and intense it's the way that I am and I have learned to take pride in it.
In order to be yourself, you have to know yourself! I'll say it again... IN. ORDER. TO. BE. YOURSELF. YOU. HAVE. TO. KNOW. YOURSELF! And I'm aware we don't wake up in the morning and look in the mirror bewildered by the face staring back at us, but are you painfully honest about who you really are? Have you realised your magic? Can you identify your flaws? For a long time my answer to these questions was 'no'. I was ashamed to admit all the things that were 'wrong' with me. I felt like being ashamed of my inadequacies was a prerequisite for wanting to work on them and with that feeling of shame came a feeling of not being good enough. To avoid that feeling I wasn't truthful with myself and it meant my development and progression as a person was very limited. You have to be shameless and blatant about who you are. It's all in your expression.
Once you deal with what is wrong you have to look at what is right and have faith in your greatness. Be secure in who you are and what you believe in! Refine yourself, mould yourself, take time crafting yourself. In being ourselves we should always strive to be the best version, because true self-expression requires confidence and conviction which comes from knowing you are doing your very best. No one should have to validate this for you! Not everyone will like you, not everyone will agree that you are pretty or intelligent or funny, some people will dislike you for the sheer sake of disliking you and that's fine, it's actually none of your business what their issue is, because it is just that, their issue.
With social media and the huge expansion of the internet came an age of pretence; you can be anyone online and I know people have been keeping up appearances for years, but I feel like this generation has set it into overdrive. What do you want?! What do you like?!? How do you really feel?! What do you really care about?! Do you even know? I'm not saying we necessarily actively work to to resist our genuine desires (although some people do), but we also don't actively work on being unapologetically ourselves. You literally have to dedicate your life to doing things exactly how you want to, because it is so easy to get caught up. My favourite 'f*ck it' moment is when I shaved off my hair. I considered it for so long and one day I got so real and said what other reason do I need besides the fact that I want to. I want to cut my hair off. It wasn't a fashion statement, I never thought I would look better or worse that way, it was never about my aesthetic and honestly everything to do with how I felt (I just so happened to kick ass with a bald head). I did worry about what other people would think until I clocked that it was irrelevant. So many people said 'oh my gosh, why on earth did you cut your hair off?' and now I think most people don't want me to grow it back. When my hair was shaved that's the most confident I have ever felt and it's because I was totally comfortable. Even if I wanted to I couldn't style my hair in the latest trends or switch it up if I wasn't feeling pretty, I had no choice but to take myself as I was and it really taught me how to love myself as I am. Although it wasn't initially the point and even if just to me I feel like my hair was expressive of a lot; when I caught my reflection it constantly reminded me that, with regards to the way I look at the very least, I am living on my own terms! So next time you want to do something I really urge you to just do it and I know that is easier said than done. We are mere mortals, we are social beings, we are influenced by the people and things around us and we will naturally concern ourselves with what others think, but when you look back don't you want to be able to say 'yes, everything was precisely how I wanted it?' because there is nothing that I want more.
I believe in balance in all things and most of all balance between heart and mind. I feel like that balance is often off kilter. We let our emotions consume us and rational, reasonable thinking goes out the window, but conversely we also forget about feelings, we lack empathy and aren't gentle enough with ourselves and others. You shouldn't be embaressed to share your thoughts and opinions or be ashamed that you cry easily or maybe find everything funny, because all these things are important. To be yourself is to be whole, to be even, for everything to add up perfectly creating the person that you are and you can't do that if you are denying parts of you the recognition they deserve. I think, therefore I am, I feel therefore I matter and no one, whether they like you the way you are or not, can take that away from you.