A few weeks ago, my daughter turned to me and said
“I can’t be myself around my friends”.
My heart sank as my 11-year-old girl started to sob. I knew she wasn’t acting herself for many months. She was pretending to be someone she wasn’t; someone she thought would be liked better. She had the idea that by hanging out with the “popular” girls, she would feel included in her class. They are not all that popular; they just have their own little group and don’t mean any harm, they are lovely girls. What she didn’t know is that is she is very much liked in her class; but obviously more so by others. My daughter with only 11 years behind her sees nothing but the best in everybody and this can in turn blind her to see how some can behave towards others. I unfortunately had my suspicions while hoping that it would occur to her at some point and knew that she needed to learn this for herself. It is a very difficult as a mother to bite your tongue at times. However, lessons need to be learned at this young age.
Realistically though even as adults, do we all try at some point to be someone we are not? As we move forward towards whatever we are trying to be or even better ourselves, do we at some point behave in a way that is just not who we are? We do have a habit of wearing different hats for situations? I’m not just referring to the hats we wear at work and then at home, but the hats we wear when we engage with other people. Are there people you engage with where you act differently than with others? Why are you not being the same person?
I will admit that it did take me many years to realise who I am. By losing my happy and ‘secure’ job I was forced to look deep into myself to figure out who I was and what I can contribute to the world outside the walls of my own house. This wasn’t only regarding work but also with my own friends. Not once did I let me see my weaknesses and unhappiness while I re-examined my life. I now know this was a mistake – I shut them out. I was afraid that they wouldn’t have accepted me as me. Not sure if they know me for me even yet? I have made some new and supportive new friends after I set up The Branding of Me. I have a passion for my business that I do express when I meet people. I have something to talk about that doesn’t include kids and school. So, I learned my own lesson that I want to share with you.
NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT YOU!
Sorry it’s true. If you walk around with pink hair and platforms, yes, they may look but they will be distracted by something else ten seconds later. If you were to shout from the roof tops, they will probably tell you to shut up and walk on. There was no way I would have put up a picture of myself online with cat makeup on before – who gives a fuck? The key is to make a difference. I have said it before that we are all different. We all have our own true story. Those who will like your story are the ones who will matter. If it be for business or personal, these are the ones to hold on to. Those in business who will see your message through your own personal brand and make that connection, they are the ones who matter. Regarding friends, if they accept you for you being you, they are the ones to keep. Bollocks to the rest. Don’t expect to get on with everyone – then the world would be fierce boring.
This was the message I gave to my daughter and now she is happily heading off the school without a care in the world like any 11-year-old should. She is who is she.
I will quote Oscar Wilde again –
Be yourself; everyone else is taken!