It’s so ironic when I hear people constantly telling children and teenagers to “Be Yourself.” It’s so obvious we when look at our youngsters to see how much the opinions of others mean to them. They’ll do anything, listen to the “right” music, wear the “right” clothes, act the “right” way to be accepted by their peers.
But are we adults really that much different. We go into debt trying to impress the people around us. Wearing the latest fashion, driving certain cars. Some things we only like because of they way we look on the outside with the item. Forget about how things make us feel. We’re so far removed from our feelings that they don’t mean nearly as much as the look we get when others approve of what we’re doing or how we look.
So let’s not be so quick to criticize the young people. They’re just following our example. So many of us forget who and what we ever wanted to be because we get so caught up in being the person that gets the stamp of approval from others.
Let’s re-learn how to be ourselves. How do we be ourselves?
We learn to feel our way through life rather than look our way through life. Do what feels good to you because this is authentically you. You can only numb how you feel for so long before you start to feel empty inside on a regular basis.
Wanting our community’s approval is a natural part of being human. We are indeed communal people. But when we are authentic and true to who we really are, people will respect us and admire us. And even better, we’ll be admired by the type of people we actually want to be surrounded by. The people who are like us and share our values and interests.
Don’t take the shortcut to public approval. You’ll only be cutting yourself short. Be yourself and everything else will fall into place.
My mother always says, “You can’t go wrong with being authentic.”
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