I’ve got a simple question for you: Who are you?
Look, this is not a job interview or any type of interview.
I’m not looking for a politically correct answer. “I’m a person who’s serious about his career. I like to spend time with my family and friends.” That’s true for every single person who is determined enough to have a job.
No, I’m talking about who you truly are — deep down.
Because let’s face it, you and I both know that we all have two personalities, who live two different lives. There’s the life we want to live, and then there’s the life we’re actually living.
I used to be that way. I always thought that “it’s impossible to live the way I really want.” And that’s what held me back from:
- Living the way I wanted
- Turning my passion into a career
- Taking ownership and full control of my life
You know what my problem was? I was afraid to be myself. That’s all. But most of us are simply so scared to admit that.
But I meet people all the time who are afraid to be themselves. Not only at work but also outside of it.
Recently, a reader asked me:
“Hey Darius, do you think I should stop being silly so that people take me seriously?”
And I get emails like this all the time. And it pisses me off. Not that I get these questions, but that we live in a world where these things happen all the time.
You should never apologize for who you are.
I get a lot of questions that can be boiled down to this: I can’t be myself. I get it because I was like that too.
We fear that people won’t like us, respect us, or value us if we don’t “fit in”.
Why do we fear that so much? It’s a waste of energy.
Like all fears, it’s unnecessary. Look, you’re not going to die alone when you become yourself 24/7.
It’s not only a waste of energy, but it’s also a waste of LIFE if you’re not living it on your terms.
I believe that you should live the way YOU want. You should always say and do what YOU want. I don’t care where in the world you live in. “That’s not what we do in our country.” Find a way!
Because what’s the alternative? Do you want to shut down your true personality and become some robot that’s programmed by society or other people?
No one deserves that.
You’ll be happier if you become yourself.
When we take control of our lives, we start feeling better about it. And when we feel better, we enjoy our life more. And that makes us happier.
“That’s common sense!” Sure. So are a lot of other things. But you need to act on it. Otherwise, you’re just a talker.
Over the past few years, I’ve been gradually living life on my terms. And now, I can honestly say that everything I do and say is because I want to.
I only work with people I like. I spend time with people I like. And I do what I like. Now, it also happens that I’m a responsible person and help others. I like to set a good example for my environment.
That’s just who I am.
It’s time for you to be yourself. Do what you’re meant to do: The right thing.
“But it’s not that easy.”
You can say that for everything. The question is: Will that stop you or not?
You and I also both know that LIFE ain’t easy!
So why say it all the time? Just acknowledge it and move on.
Also don’t do things you don’t want to do.
But wait, I’m not saying don’t do hard things. Because everything in life is hard. At least, all the good things are.
- If you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be like Gary Vaynerchuk
- If you’re a programmer, you don’t have to be like Mark Zuckerberg
- If you’re an artist, you don’t have to be like Van Gogh
You’ll get what you want when you are yourself.
The funny thing about all this is that you don’t get what you want when you try to be someone you’re not. You see?
When you try to be something else or fake it till you make it, people will never respect you for it.
And let’s be honest. All of us need a little bit of recognition and respect. We all want to be valued, right?
Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that you only get respect when you are yourself:
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
I can tell you from personal experience that being yourself is the most liberating thing in life.
Like many others, I used to worry about fitting in all the time. The clothes I wore, the words I used, the things I did — it was all because I was afraid to be myself.
You need to conquer that fear. Day by day, you can show a little piece of who you really are.
No need to do a backflip right now and scream, “I AM MYSELF!” That’s too dramatic.
Build it up. Bit by bit. Show yourself to your world.
You must trust yourself. And that you’re good enough. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote about the importance of being yourself in Self-Reliance (which I highly recommend reading to every adult), said it best:
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
And if others don’t like you, who cares? That’s their problem.
Start owning your life.
Most importantly: Do it YOUR way.