In the past, I've done many things that have offended someone. I've voiced my political opinions, taken a few fries off of someone's plate or worn white jeans and sequins when I "should" have been wearing a dark, subtle suit. Sure, it doesn't feel great to have offended someone around you, but here’s the thing: acting like someone or something you’re not is exhausting. Transparency, on the other hand, is hot.
The starting point for crafting a life you love is to live is, “Who am I?” — not, “How can I make everyone happy?”
Want to experience more everyday joy? Then courageously decide to care more about being exquisitely, exactly who you are than caring what we think about you.
If you’re ready to start living transparently as your one true self, and stop caring what everyone else thinks, here are five ways to get started:
1. Remind yourself why you love this thing or feel this way.
Do you get self conscious confessing your love for Star Trek, or knitting, or dog shows? Sit with your feelings and remember how you felt when you completed that scarf or watched that famous episode. Remember the joy these things brought you. Be loyal to yourself and your feelings and next time someone asks what you do in your spare time, you can proudly announce, “I’m learning Klingon.”
2. Think of people who rub you the wrong way and mentally wish them well.
The barista who uses too much slang, your neighbor with all the birdbaths, your co-worker who chews too loudly — all of the people who offend or annoy you. Chances are, none of them are bad people, but they’re not your cup of tea. Realize that other people probably feel the exact same way about you. Internally bless the people who’ve offended you and make peace with the fact that other people will think the same things about you.
3. Mentally push your anxieties out the door.
What, exactly, are you worried about? That people will think your engagement ring is too small? That the women in the grocery store will judge you based on your child’s tantrum? That this "very important person" will snub you at a networking event? Before you enter a situation that brings up anxiety, meditate on your worst case scenario. Imagine a bubble enveloping that scene and watch it float off into space. You’re free! Now go out there and live your life.
4. Surround yourself with people who like you for who you are.
All the mental tricks in the world can’t help you if you’re constantly surrounded by people who don’t get you. If you’re a green juice drinking hippie, it’s hard to feel comfortable when you’re surrounded by corporate lawyers, and vice versa! You don't need to limit yourself to friends who are exactly like you, but you deserve to be supported and appreciated by people who love your every corner and quirk.
5. Remember the power of authenticity.
Your foundation must be built on the core of who you truly, definitely are. Be bold enough to tell us what makes you tick. When you consistently show up bathed in authenticity, you make it easier on us. We know where to find you. You build trust. And you’d be surprised how many of us do want to support and celebrate your ambitions.
You will always be too much of something or too little of something for someone. Be you, anyway!