“Never compromise or change yourself, just to get someone to like you…”
Someone once told me the key to success is to become a chameleon, and always wear a different skin depending on who and what’s around. He told me being able to do this seamlessly would enable me to earn the respect from everyone I encounter, and I’d also be able to blend into any group or environment.
Ultimately, what he meant was: If you want to be successful, adapt to the people and things around you, and become like those people and things. If you can do this, then you will find success.
Initially, I pondered his advice. I asked myself, “Is it true that I should become less of myself, and more like something I’m not?” and “Will this adaptation really lead to success?”
And I suppose it all depends on what your definition of success is. But, for me, it’s so much more than promotions, material assets and recognition from others. Especially when I’m expected to pretend to be something or someone I’m not.
Unfortunately, this is the advice we’re all given (in different words) as children, and into our adulthood. We become so engrossed with hiding who and what we are so that other people will like us, that we lose ourselves and our own true colors along the way.
It’s no wonder we have such high rates of suicide among adolescents and young adults — we program ourselves, and our children to believe, “Who you are isn’t good enough. So, become something you’re not and then you’ll find acceptance.”
I’m here to tell you — this advice (no matter how well-intended) shouldn’t be followed, nor should it be taken to heart. You are enough. You’ve never not been enough. And if you want to find TRUE happiness, success, and fulfillment then you need to be 100% yourself (so long as you’re not putting others in danger along the way!).
Ready to release your true self, shed your superficial skin and finally be comfortable being you? Start here:
1.) Accept that you can’t please everyone
Not everyone is going to like or accept you. There will be people you encounter who expect you to be different than who and what you are.
You aren’t living your life to please or be accepted by other people. You are living YOUR life to expand your soul and find YOUR purpose. You can’t do that if you spend all of your time worrying about what other people think about you, or who does or doesn’t accept you.
Make peace with this truth, and move forward with your life.
2.) Ask yourself, “What do I like?”
Unlearn what your parents, teachers, peers, society, and others told you to like, and figure out what YOU enjoy doing.
Everyone has their own preferences, you included. Don’t deny yourself joy and happiness by neglecting to experience the things you like for the sake of others accepting you.
Spend time every day doing those things you enjoy! You won’t regret it.
3.) Tell yourself, “I love you, _________.”
Every morning when you wake up, go to the mirror and say, “I love you (first name). I really, really love you.”
At first, this exercise may feel uncomfortable and forced, but with repeated practice, it will become second nature, and you’ll even experience an increase in self-confidence.
When it comes to being comfortable in your own skin, self-love is a crucial element because it’s the foundation of all other love. If you have love inside of yourself, then you have love to give others and the world. If you don’t have love inside of yourself, then you won’t have any love to give away…
4.) Spend time with yourself
You know how you treat a new relationship with a person you feel really connected to? You go out of your way to spend time with that person and do whatever you can to get to know them — inside and out.
Well, it’s time to start doing that with yourself. Ultimately, you are the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with (guaranteed!).
Get to know you. Enjoy your own company. Date yourself. Treat yourself. Love yourself.
If you can get comfortable being alone with yourself, and find enjoyment in it, then you will find personal happiness too.
5.) Do the thing that scares you…
Deep down, we all have something we LOVE doing. And usually, we fantasize about what it would be like to create a life where we’re always doing that thing.
Maybe it’s singing. Maybe it’s dancing. Maybe it’s performing. Maybe it’s creating art.
Whatever it is that’s itching at your soul, and begging to be released, release it.
Sing. Dance. Perform. Create.
And do these things not just for yourself, but for the world around you too. The thing that scares you the most is the thing your soul was called here to do…
At the end of your life, you’ll never regret being yourself and doing the things your soul called you to do. But, you will regret living life to please others and trying to be something you’re not.
Today you have a choice to make: shed the fake skin, or continue to live trapped inside of it. What will you choose?
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.