Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
Trying to be someone or something I’m not, and comparing myself to others, is not only useless, it’s debilitating.
When my daughter was a baby, I had this neighbor I passed almost everyday on my way home. She was always dressed to the nines. Heels. Hair always perfect, blowing in the wind like a damn shampoo commercial. She was always walking behind her baby girl on an evening stroll. Here I was, barely getting home from work. Outfit not impressing a soul. Heels? No. I was too exhausted for heels. Hair in a bun for the millionth time. Day after day I passed her and mentally roasted myself for not being put together like this woman. Lookin’ all fabulous at 6pm, taking her daughter for a walk. I was barely going to be getting dinner on the stove, and a walk around the neighborhood was a big maybe. This went on for months. Me comparing myself to her and coming up lacking. Then one day, we passed each other on a walk. We got to talking. Over time I learned that her husband was abusive and her parents were in jail for something pretty bad. Her husband had expectations for how she looked. She felt like she had no where to go…no choice but to stay. The walks, which she went on as soon as she got home from work, not bothering to change, were her way of getting out of the house.
She had insecurities, and strengths, and weakness, just like me. I didn’t know her story before we became friends, but in my mind I had compared myself to her and lost. In truth, we were both doing the best we could with where were.
Similarly, I’ve been in many situations where someone else told me I was wrong, or not as right, and I should do things their way. Trust me that you’ll never meet anyone more devoted to self improvement than I am. So I’ve made the mistake of being something I’m not or doing something that just didn’t fit me, because someone else thought it would improve me or maybe it just made them more comfortable.
What I’ve learned is what’s right for someone else, may not be right for me. Not everyone realizes that one size doesn’t fit all (remember that blog?). So YOU have to be the one who says, “EHH, no thank you, that’s not me,” or “that may work for you, but it doesn’t work for me.” Protect your potential.
Because if you try to be someone you’re not, or do things in a way that’s not natural for you, you might succeed, but you’re unlikely to be great and you’re even less likely to be happy.
It’s the difference between going 60 miles in second gear with the emergency brake on and going 60 miles in 5th gear with the emergency brake off.
Which one takes more work? More energy? Gets you there faster? Wears down parts?
If you’re you, and you constantly work to improve YOU, for YOU, and hell, for FUN… you are going to be AMAZING. And it’s not going to feel like work.
You may be a second rate Jan, Sue, or Marie, but you’re a bad ass you.
And, “becoming you is the purpose for your existence.” ~Danielle LaPorte