Monday, February 11, 2013

Be Yourself, It's a Great Idea

“Just cut it all off” I said as I walked into the salon. Ray just looked at me and said “you’reImagekidding, right?” Affirming that I was serious, I got my first buzz cut since I was about six. It felt great and is so easy. Friends and family were a little shocked at first, but eventually got use to it. I’ve always been a bit vain about my hair, so I think it took people by surprise, but it was the “real” me coming out. I just love the ease of no hair. 
Psychology Today published an article (I lost the article, so forgive the lack of reference) on regret noting that when people who had terminal illnesses were interviewed they regretted two things. The first was that they had not been authentic to themselves. The second was that they wish they had not spent so much time working. I’ve heard the second regret so often I’m almost tired of it. But the first regret got my attention. 
We live in a society that demands certain behaviors in order to “fit in.” Standards of common courtesy are fine, we need them to function in large groups. However, when the standards and expectations begin to pressure us to act or dress in ways just to please others, we are being pulled away from our own personal greatness. The challenge is trying to understand who we really are and what we really believe. 
I’ve discovered there is only one way to fully understand your uniqueness and live it out. Slow down! Not great advice coming from someone who likes to live at 90 miles an hour. But I’ve found that especially when that little voice of warning, judgement, or fear goes off in my head, it’s time to slow down, not make any quick decisions and think about what is pressuring me to act in a certain way. 
Sometimes I’m acting a certain way to please others, or fit in. Other times it might be that I don’t want to “rock the boat.” Whatever the reason I’ve found that being fully aware of the moment, mindfulness, helps me choose my next step and be happier with it. 
All of us were placed here with unique gifts and talents. We have a powerful, personal impact to make on the world. How great it is when people allow that unique gift to come through. It is something you won’t live to regret. 

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