I have never tried to be anything but myself online. The idea of putting on a mask and working to present a perfect persona is mentally exhausting and emotionally trying. It’s certainly not how I want to expend my energy.
Being comfortable in my own skin is a hard won life skill and it’s one I highly recommend that you develop – the sooner the better actually! Going through your days uncomfortable with who you are creates a natural boundary in life that limits what you can do.
Being happy with yourself is a daily choice. It starts with how you think – primarily how you think about how others respond to you.
Do you feel bad about yourself because you spend time comparing yourself to your competition? Stop right now.
Listen… I’m not perfect. (So far from it that I want to laugh at the thought.) Still, I’m quite good at what I do. Who cares if I’m not the best? What matters most is that I love what I do and it’s working for me. Some feel crippled by the idea that someone else is better than they are – but I choose to feel challenged instead.
Do you feel bad about yourself because someone doesn’t like you? Forget about them.
Some people really like me. Some don’t.
I don’t like everybody I meet so I sure don’t expect everyone to like me. Heck I give a lot of people reason to NOT like me with my bold opinions. How crazy would it be for me to sit and worry about the people who don’t like me? I choose to focus on those who do!
Do you feel bad about yourself because someone hurt you or put you down along the way? Forgive them.
I grew up in a home damaged by alcoholism, divorce, abuse and abandonment. I know a thing or two about childhood trauma but my days of living out the role of victim are far behind me. I forgave my abuser and choose to look forward.
Do you feel bad about yourself because of the way you look? I want to give you a hug .
I’m very overweight. I am not pleased with that but I’m 100% responsible for it and CAN change it if I want it bad enough. I don’t relish packing my ‘fat clothes’ and heading out to a conference where everyone can see more than my carefully chosen headshot photo – but I’ve done it and been happier with myself for it.
If you’re especially short or freakishly tall, if you have a wiggly eye or you have scars or a visible birth defect… whatever you have going on that makes you self conscious that you’re not responsible for and can’t change – seriously, I want to hug you right now. Of all the reasons to feel bad about yourself, a physical trait that cause people to stare and act stupid has to be the most challenging to overcome in my opinion.
I can honestly ‘feel bad’ about being overweight because I’m the one who ate the cheeseburgers, amen? But what do you have to feel bad about when the issue isn’t your doing? If I can overcome my desire to hide out, you can to.
My friend Angel snapped this dreadful picture of me at the gym tonight… a few years ago I would have hidden from the camera or at least threatened her life if she ever thought of sharing it. Today, I’m having fun and going with it.
You can try to be someone else if you really want to.
You can present yourself ‘just so’ in every photo. You can behave in ways that you think will make others like you more. You can hide every fault and hold back opinions or feelings that might annoy someone. You can do that – so many people do!
But at the end of the day – aren’t you worn out? Maybe even a little afraid? (What if someone ever knew the real me?)
Let it go my friend. Be yourself and let the world take you or leave you. Those who leave you don’t deserve you and those who take you as you are will become precious friends and acquaintances that brighten your world and confirm your value.
That’s when you’ll be able to say that you’re happy to be you too.