Most of us ponder on that question at some point in our lives. For some of us, that question becomes a heavy burden. For others, it becomes a liberation. Some never even bother. And that’s not because of ignorance, but because of avoidance – fearing the discomfort that the question brings with it.
First thing of all, you are an individual. Sounds a bit obvious, doesn’t it? But in reality, it is a fact that we tend to ignore. You’re different from me. And I’m different from you. The combination of what makes you ‘you’ – your character, your looks, your experiences, your hardships, your downfalls, your walk, your ideas, your desires, your talents – they sculpt you into a unique ‘you’. And you’re the original. You’ve got to be proud of that. And if you aren’t, then you need to work on that. It’s called being confident and feeling good about who you are.
I’d like to point out that being confident and being arrogant are two different things. Being arrogant means that you think and you make it quite obvious to let others know that you are better than them. That’s when you’re called a ‘show off’.
Being confident on the other hand, means that you believe that you are good at what you do and who you are. You believe in your abilities and limitations. You know who you are in that sense. But you don’t rub it into other people’s faces. You only prove it by letting your work, character and talents show it in what you do and in your principles. And you make use of that confidence to help build others where they are failing. You see potential in them that you have once had to work hard to achieve yourself. And you encourage them to keep on believing in themselves – that the sun is going to still shine despite us worrying what the weather will be like tomorrow.
Start respecting yourself. Start appreciating your colours. Start acknowledging that you have potential in you. That includes your talents, your gifts, the mission in your life, the genetics of your personality and your strengths and weaknesses. It is what attracts your other half and your friends. It is what you are meant to develop, what you are meant to cultivate from a seed into a tree.
Losing your individuality because someone makes you believe that you are not worth it, is sad. Losing your individuality because someone wants to change you is like allowing the other person (or people) to change your colour. And they ‘recolour’ you into whichever colour they please. And then you wonder, why you end up being unhappy. You suddenly and unknowingly feel suffocated. How sad that is. Many change their colours forcefully just to please these people they look up to. They don’t look at themselves and appreciate what they want and their worth. Many individuals trade ‘themselves’ in or are forced to subconsciously fade their colours to please others. So many people forget who they are after a series of disappointments because they have allowed others to ‘re-colour’ them.
Therefore, look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are, for a moment. But ask yourself. Are you happy with whom you currently are? Are you growing? Is there anything in life which you would like to work on, but you haven’t yet? Are you satisfied with your life? Do you see your life as an adventure? Or do you see yourself as boring? Have you given yourself the time and the space to spend time on your own? Have you ever stopped to reflect on what you want to be? Do you still try to find yourself only in others? Why are you scared to spend time on your own? Do you only seek approval of yourself through others’ likes on Facebook, their praises and their acceptance of who you are?
And the biggest (and toughest) question of all: do you love yourself? I’m not talking narcissistic love. We don’t want to fog any mirrors here. But if you really do love yourself, then why are you keeping yourself from becoming what you want to become (without hurting anyone!)? Why are you disrespecting yourself enough to deprive yourself and maybe others from the potential that you have? Why do you think that others are simply better than you just because you hate being who you are? Yes, there are others who are more handsome or prettier than you are. Yes, there are others who are richer than you are. Yes, there are others who have a better singing voice than you have. There will always be that someone. But why do you just have to give yourself the shaking of the head in disapproval every time you think of who you are? Why do others have to be the measurement of your self-worth? Use your own measurements: and that means your dreams and knowledge of your potential.
Don’t stop there. Appreciate what you have around you. That includes your body, your thoughts and your surroundings that you have affected and have affected you. Acknowledge that you have to look within and do something with your life. Why? Because it is important. Because it is necessary. Because it matters. Why? Because your life depends on it. It will be the weight that will decide whether you ‘live’ or ‘exist’.
You matter. No one else can make you appreciate who you are, except yourself. No one else can do that for you. Only you can initiate that by taking the plunge in believing that you are an individual and you have all that it takes. Then, great things will follow.
Surround yourself with people who do not destroy your individuality, but help you to nurture it and become a better you. Lose your individuality and you lose yourself. Lose yourself and you lose your purpose of life. Worse, you lose what it means ‘to live’.
You have what it takes. Now go for it. And love who you are and what you want to be.