If you sacrifice who you are to become popular, whether it’s in personal life or business, you’re going to find that the backlash isn’t worth the time you spent pretending to be something else.
I have been battling with this issue for a long time. Both in personal life and in business I tried to fit in with the norm, do what was acceptable, and basically deny everything that was true about myself in order to fit in and make money. I found as time went by that I didn’t even know who I was anymore. What’s worse, there actually came a time when I hated who I’d become. Luckily, I hadn’t completely lost my identity, and I’ve found a way to come back from that place of conformity and falseness and be myself again.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you; sometimes being who you really are means people aren’t going to like you. If you’re smarter than others and have a thirst for knowledge, people who aren’t as smart are going to hate you. If you come from people who live simple lives and want very little, but you strive for greatness and new experiences, those people may not like you anymore. If you choose a different faith or life path from those around you, they may not accept you anymore.
So why would anyone want to be themselves and not conform when it’s likely that so many would turn against you? The simple truth is that when you are truly yourself, the right people will come into your life and the wrong ones will drift away. Sure, some of those wrong ones may be your family and current friends. The thing is, if people can’t love you for who you really are, then they don’t actually love you at all.
People often find it easier to conform than to stand out. I know my life would be a lot easier if I started to conform. If I stopped being more intelligent than the people around me and came down to their level they’d like me more. If I took up a major faith I wouldn’t catch so much hell for what I believe. If I wrote celebrity gossip I’d make more money. And the list goes on. However, I choose not to conform, and be who I really am. I want to be able to look in the mirror and love the woman I see, even if no one else does.
Part of the problem with self identity is the fact that so many people believe that their worth is measured by their job and number of friends. How much these people love themselves is based entirely on how many other people like them. What they fail to realize is that while people might associate with them, that doesn’t actually mean those people like them. They also fail to realize that no one else will truly love and respect you until you love and respect yourself.
I recommend that everyone be themselves. If some people stop liking you, or you can’t keep the same job, don’t worry, the right things for the real you will come in time. When you pretend to be someone else you’re basically living someone else’s life. You real life is out there and you’re missing it. Be yourself and live the life that was meant for you. You’ll probably experience far more joy and fulfillment in being yourself than you ever would in pretending to be something else.