"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before"
Some weeks, I'm not even messing, Instagram just speaks to me. Ugh seriously, quotes like this have been repeatedly popping up the last week and each time I see one I have a real moment of inspiration. And they just keep on coming, be yourself, celebrate your uniqueness, be unapologetically authentic - with me frantically double tapping each one.
Because I love this idea, I love the value of genuine, committed authenticity and of how much power we all have just by being who we are. But, try and write a blog post about it and my inspiration quickly turns to desperate deflation. Not because I'm not passionate about it or uninspired, but because we've all heard it before - I've definitely written it before. We've been told to be ourselves, to love ourselves, to be really real. And we've probably also argued about how difficult it is to do that and how we want to but don't know where to start. Either way, someone has played us this record already.
So I don't know what I can say differently about it, but I want to try again anyway and see what happens. Because this matters to me.
It matters to me that people realise how much untapped magic they have inside merely by being the person that they are. Each and every one of us, regardless of status or situation, has something that no one else has. Isn't that amazing? There are billions of people on this planet and none of us are the exact same. Amazing. And we don't need to make any extravagant gesture or do anything unnatural, we don't need to spend money on it or travel to get it. It's there all the time, anytime, always.
And what do we do with that?
We struggle with our identity, we attempt to grow up and mold into our new-found roles, we try to fit; we lose our true selves. We throw them away and insult the incredible person within by trying to be something we're just not meant to be. Trying to impress, trying to measure up and trying to fabricate a self that's nowhere near our own uniqueness.
You know how we hear this when we're kids, that we're all unique? - well that's not bullsh*t. But I don't think we really know what to do with that statement. We're unique... and what? Wouldn't it be better to just fit in? To be like everyone else? To just try and get by without any hassle, not drawing attention to ourselves and keeping our heads down?
I just don't think that's good enough, for any of us. We need to own the concept of 'Being Yourself'. Not just saying it on a whim when someone asks for dating advice or letting it roll off your tongue as a nice concept. Own it. Own who you are and what you're about and why you love that you're exactly the person you were made to be. Own the joy of embracing each and every element of uniqueness that you encompass.
Own the fact that sometimes you giggle uncontrollably or make god-awful jokes. Own the way you cry at sad movies or sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. Own the way you tell a story in haphazard side-stories or the way you see the world or experience life. The way you care about others or want to make a difference. We all react to the world differently, we have different strengths and weaknesses, different tastes and passions. We need to make them ours and stop rejecting them or thinking they're 'wrong'. They are so right. Owning who you are is the most right thing.
As I said, Instragram's 'Be Yourself' game was strong, so another that demanded my attention mid scroll was 'No one is You and that is your power'. That is your power. Your power is the fact that you are you. You get to have a power! But are you using it?
When you think of power, you don't think of mediocrity or settling or being lost. You don't think of throwing it away. You think of strength, achievement, influence and success - or at least, I do. Power is what will drive you towards what you want. This power will ignite conversations, will broaden your horizons, it'll nurture love and meaningful relationships.
Being yourself is about putting yourself in the world, because if you didn't you'd be depriving it of something incredible and you know that, you believe that, you embody that.
Everyone has something different of value to offer. When we shred comparison and just enjoy the diversity, we'll really thrive because there's insurmountable worth in everyone's unique qualities. Every little quirk, every offbeat delivery, every personal opinion. The things that excite us can unite us, but we all have minds and eyes that work in different ways.
It's not about being different to everyone else, it's about valuing the ways in which we can own who we are. When we start to actually use our power, we can make real impact.
In each of us, we have all the stuff we need. Our talents, passions and skills aren't mistakes, they weren't mean for someone else and just got mixed up mid-delivery. This is our stuff, for our lives,that we need to take ownership of.
Who we are matters because there is purpose to what we do and are going to do.
You have everything you need already, you have yourself. And that is your power.