“Embrace your inner self.”
This is wonderful advice to live an authentic life.
However, most of us have a tendency to avoid standing out from the crowd. It is probably the belief that there’s safety in numbers because our survival depended on it from the beginning of time . . . and this habit remains ingrained in our psyche even if we’ve come a long way and no longer need to believe it.
Of course, there’s the argument that with the incredible amount of interaction we enjoy with our peers from literally every corner of the globe thanks to technology and social media, the feeling that we must stick to a predetermined status quo is greater than ever before!
We are under pressure to mask our authentic selves on a daily basis. Whether from work colleagues, friend groups or social media followers, this urge is unavoidable.
Yet, would you not say that there is much to be said about remaining true to oneself?
What if you embrace your inner self?
Embracing our inner selves benefits not just us; it can also be a gift to the world around us.
Here are some reasons I can think of, to embrace your inner self.
As humans, one of our most wonderful traits is our uniqueness. Each one of us is completely unique. Other than the obvious things we all share, everyone differs in their individual talents, abilities, perspectives, and so on. Unfortunately, when we mask these differences in an attempt to avoid standing out, we deprive ourselves and everyone around us of the true difference we can make through self-expression.
Why, if you think of the greatest inventions and discoveries gifted to mankind so far, one common theme is this: this was brought about by people willing to be different and resisting the status quo.
And by the way, on the subject of common traits shared by all of us, whether or not we realize it, self-acceptance is one of these traits. Even though the need to fit in often overshadows this urge, deep down, we all long to be who we truly are. When we are able to embrace our inner self and go against the grain, we invite others to do the same.
When those around us notice that we are comfortable with who we are, they are much more likely to follow suit! This ripple effect fosters self-expression and allows everyone to benefit from the fellowship of collective talent and abilities.
But here’s the irony; it takes much more effort and energy to blend in than it takes to embrace your inner self – your true self. Going with the crowd involves a conscious effort to act and behave a certain way at all times. This tendency results in the wasting of a large portion of our mental resources that could be used in much better ways.
Should we not allocate the time spent hiding our uniqueness to improving and growing ourselves and whatever we want to achieve in this life? When we combine our inherent talents and this otherwise wasted energy, I am pretty sure we can accomplish some really incredible things.
Oh yes, that means stepping—no—stretching out of the comfort zone.
“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg
By now, if there’s one thing we know for sure, it is this: life is short. And it can be quite painful to experience regret. When we do not take advantage of the gifts we possess, we are only setting ourselves up for regret – over missed opportunities.
The biggest chances in life come and go in the blink of an eye and we can no longer take advantage of them once they are gone.
So, embrace your inner self because this way you can avoid so much regret down the road.
Blending in with the crowd has become so much of a habit for most of us that doing anything else will definitely feel weird at first. But if we can make this our new normal, surely the benefits to you and those around you are more than worth it?
What do you think?
Do you think it is safer to stand down and blend in?
Or embrace your inner self and stand out?
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are” – Carl Jung
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor. Oh yeah, some days are not so short.