I’ve spent a majority of my life trying to please other people. In my early 20’s especially, I wasted so much of my precious energy trying to maintain unhealthy relationships with people who really had no place in my life in the first place. In other words, I constantly tried to be someone I wasn’t. Now that I’m a bit older, I’ve come to realize that I am who I am: take me or leave me. Oh sure, I am constantly trying to better myself as a whole, but my reasons for doing so have changed. I want to be different… better… for me. Constantly pushing myself to be the best version of myself that I can be has taught me the most effective ways to be who I am, unapologetic. Here are my top 4 ways that you too can be your most authentic self, and let your uniqueness shine:
1. Don’t apologize for your likes and dislikes, whatever they may be.
In order to achieve this, you must FIRST spend time getting to know yourself. I can’t tell you how many moms I meet that no longer know what they enjoy doing in their free time because they spend so much time caring for their family, spouse, and home. We wear so many hats as moms that sometimes who we truly are and what we enjoy gets lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Get to know what your interests and passions are and do them.
In addition to this, don’t waste time and space doing things that you aren’t passionate about simply because other people are. Perhaps some of your friends enjoy play dates and you don’t. That’s perfectly OK. Just because you don’t enjoy play dates doesn’t make you a bad mom. Maybe your husband loves sports and could watch it all day every day. Maybe some days, you partake just because you know he enjoys it, maybe some days it isn’t your thing and you’d rather be out doing something else. That’s OK. Focus on building relationships with people who share similar interests.
2. Be OK with repelling some people and attracting those who share the same interests.
It’s OK to let some people go who don’t share the same interests as you or who don’t understand why you devote your time and energy to certain things. In the same token, if you do what you enjoy, you will naturally attract the people in your life who are meant to be in it. An example of this for me personally is fitness. I love fitness; it is my passion, my career, and my therapy, and it has been challenging to keep people in my life who don’t understand my love and need for fitness. So, I simply let them go. People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Find the people who share your same passions; those people are your tribe. Surround yourself by them.
3. Practice not caring what other people think.
I say practice because not caring what other people think won’t happen overnight. Remind yourself that other people’s’ opinion of you is NONE of your business. The same goes for your opinion of someone else. It is none of your business. Just do you mama and you will soon realize that is so freeing to not care what others think. Live your best life and be you, for you.
4. Be clear on what you stand for.
Make sure you really know your morals, values, and non-negotiables and stand by them. As long as you are true to your core values and beliefs, the right things will always fall into place and the right people will be in your life. This goes back to number 1 above: spend time getting to know yourself and what is important to you. Also, remember that it is OK to tell someone “no” if it compromises your non-negotiables. For instance, on weekdays, my husband and I rarely go out simply because we have no desire to be out late when we have to be up by 4:30 am the next morning. So, we have no problem turning down invites from people during the week. That is a non-negotiable for us. Make sure you identify and label yours and stick to them.
Remember, mama, that there is no one on this earth like you. There is no one who laughs the way that you laugh, who cares for their family the way that you do, who has the same unique quirky traits as you. Be the authentic YOU. Embrace what makes you YOU and be confident in that.