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32 in 32: Be Yourself

The younger I get (in my mind) 🙂 the more reflective I become, and I thought what better way to kick off my birthday month than by dedicating my posts for the next few weeks to life lessons. The 32 in 32 series will focus on 32 lessons I have learned throughout my 32 years here on earth, some learned easily and others the hard way. I hope you will join me on this journey of reflection and are motivated, pushed, and changed.

Photo Credit: (keepcalmandposters.com)

Lesson #1: Be Yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was a kid I was always told “BE YOURSELF”, be a leaders and not follower”,” if your friend jumped off the bridge would you do it too?”.  It was the ultimate goal of my parents to raise a responsible child that would not be influenced by her surroundings. When I was 14, I had an adult family member tease me because I spoke properly and I remember from that day on trying to alter the way I spoke because I wanted to fit in and didn’t want to take the risk of high school friends teasing me also. As I look back, I’m not afraid to say “That was stupid!” talking proper has taken me further in life than speaking slang ever has! After observing many types of people and personalities , the ones that are most successful and free are those who aren’t afraid to be themselves.

At “almost” 32 “Be Yourself” has a totally different meaning to me. In order to be myself I have to first know:

Who I am?

Where I came from?

Where I’m going?

Whose I am?

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
― Aristotle

I don’t recall ever having to ask myself these questions in elementary school when I was thinking about whether or not to talk in class when I knew I shouldn’t. Once I understand these things I can truly be myself , choose my own path, raise my family with methods I am comfortable with, and live by the standards I accept. As an adult you grow up, but if you are not careful and don’t truly know yourself you will begin to either be jealous or follow someone else’s plan for your life.

Learning to be yourself isn’t just a lesson you learn as a child, but a lesson you must continuously learn throughout life.

How have you learned or are learning to be yourself? I would love to hear from you!