How I learned to put up walls
You remember in those girls in high school with the pretty hair that always seemed to have a following? They said all the right things, attracted all the right guys, heck even their laughs were perfect. People literally followed them around just to be in proximity to them. I wanted to be them. Or at least be accepted by them.
But I wasn’t like them. I was the awkward nerdy kid who loved reading and got incredible grades but wasn’t very socially adept. And because I was a kid, I felt awkward like all the time – I mean, who didn’t?
At some point, I started to act a certain way, dress a certain way, talk a certain way - all in an effort to fit in. I built a wall around myself that was meant to keep my real self to me, and let my public self shine through. You guys, I am not known for being lazy. Once I know what I need to do to ensure success – in any arena – I hustle. I built a wall that was fortified from top to bottom. I was determined that no one – I mean no one – was ever going to see weird, goofy, nerdy, awkward me again.
And I was pretty good at keeping the weirdness inside. But I still didn’t know how to be “cool girl”. So, the result was that I became very quiet and reserved. I held my cards close to my chest for fear of being rejected if I opened my mouth.
How I'm Breaking them Down
Here’s the thing about walls though: they crumble over time. No matter how much work you put into keeping them up, they will eventually fall into ruin.
Launching a startup is incredible. And challenging. And insane. It’s so hard and so rewarding and it takes every single ounce that you can give it. The stress is unrelenting and merciless and once you think you have everything all figured out, a new crazy massive challenge presents itself. And you are tired literally all of the time.
But I am so very grateful for these challenges because they have forced me to deal with some of the really hard stuff that I could ignore before. It has made me own up to my fears and anxieties and learn how to deal with them through personal growth. It’s made me want to reach for the best version of myself.
But you can’t be the best version of yourself if you are pretending to be someone else.
As my current girl crush, Rachel Hollis says, high school was a long time ago. And the things that happened to you – to me – to make you want to hide, are in the past. You get to decide how you are going to live your life. By continuing to be the person that you became in high school in an effort to be liked & fit in, you are allowing other people to decide who you are going to be. No one gets to decide that but YOU.
Why This is so Important
You have something different and absolutely amazing to offer this world. And without you allowing yourself to be this unique person, you will never have a chance to offer it. You will never live into your full potential and know what you could have achieved. By becoming someone who fits in with everyone else, you are stifling who you were meant to be.
We are all so busy worrying about fitting in, or being who our parents expect us to be, or being who we are supposed to be, that we forget to ask ourselves what WE want. This is YOUR life - stop living it in service of someone else’s dream for you. Live it for YOUR dream. What do YOU want out of your life? Stop being someone you aren’t so people will like you. There will be people that don’t like you – no matter what – and that is ok.
Who do YOU want to be? LEAN IN to your authentic self. Be her and don’t apologize for it. Allowing the world to see who you really are is incredible. It’s relieving to let your guard down and just be. There is huge freedom in letting go of the fear that people won’t like you. In knowing that some people won’t like you but it doesn’t matter, as long as you like yourself. You have one life. Live it by chasing your own hopes and goals and dreams and becoming everything amazing that you were meant to be.