Based on many stories available to us via mass media, it seems easy to flip the script and change the story of who we are. However, to do this we may need to cut ties that we have depended on all our lives and habits that are easy to spot but hard to break.
What is it about hearing the stories of others that seem to motivate us so much? We usually love to hear the success stories of others, especially when those persons had to overcome some serious challenges. We hear are inspired and feel invincible by those stories. But, it is their story, their triumph and their success. While we celebrate with them, as we should, we cannot remain on their cloud nine to live our lives.
We can never be like anyone else no matter how much we wish we could. There are too many among us who feel that we can be like this person or that person, and so we try to copy what they have done to the T and paste it onto ourselves. We may deny doing that but, when we act the way they act or do the things they do or eat what they eat do the same exercise, use the same hair product and so on, we are not trying to find a formula that works for us, but using one meant for the person we are trying to be like.
Maybe we need to put a little more effort into leaning into who we are. Imagine all our lives we have been influenced by others. Can we say how much of that influence has shaped us into who we are? I realized that I was good at imitating people and becoming who they expect me to be. At first, when I realized that I was doing this, I did feel like a fraud. I had gotten so good at it that it came naturally. However, when I realized this was a thing I did, I decided to make the effort to change. I started to ask myself all kinds of questions. What did I like and not like? What type of friend did I want and wanted to be? What kind of music did I like? There were many more questions, but the point was that I made the effort to discover things about myself that had nothing to do with trying to impress others. As I made the effort to learn more about myself, I had very little room to worry about who I most wanted to be like, instead I was more concerned about being honest with myself so that I could show up as myself each day to those I interacted with.
But, it is hard to lean into yourself when people only want to see the you they can digest or tolerate. They don’t want to see that you have flaws, because the version of you they have in mind aligns with their snapshot of you. They may not want the movie reels that might reveal your being human instead of an image created or forged for the consumption of others.
There has to be a way out. Often times when we feel trapped, this is the first thought we have. We can also have this thought when we are no longer satisfied with living up to the expectations of others. We then wonder, what can we do? I have found that the best way out is not to seek the answers from anyone outside of yourself. The best way out is simply to trust and into the Almighty and lean more into who you are.