Be Who You Are
Here's the paradox: the more you are yourself, the more people will beat a path to your door. And yet we all struggle, at one time or another to be ourselves.
I've been thinking and writing a lot about this lately. I'm working on a new free guide to replace the current somewhat lame one you get when you subscribe to my newsletter, The Abundant Writer. The new guide is going to detail, in seven simple steps, how to write a book. Pretty cool, no? My thesis is that the most successful writers and people in general are the ones who are most gloriously themselves. We are drawn to them because they radiate an energy, a joy, a life force that is irresistible.
And yet, when it comes to expressing our own deepest truths and desires, we hold back. Well, maybe you don't, but I do. How often do you refrain from talking about your love of WWII fighter planes because you worry people will think it weird? I often cringe a little when I mention my love of knitting because for some people it still invokes images of granny sitting in the rocking chair, knitting away. Or someone asks you how your evening was and instead of telling the full glorious story of the crazy adventure that you experienced you just say, "fine," because you think they won't want to hear the truth.
The worry about what other people will think has killed more dreams, visions and great ideas than anything else. Why do we care so much what other people think? I believe it is linked to a deep-seated fear of being alone. We think that if we express who we are, nobody will like us and we'll end up alone and lonely. When actually the opposite is true–the more we express who we are, the more people we will attract to us.
I find that lately I have been growing more confident in not only my writing but who I am in general. How, you might ask, am I growing more confident in my writing? Two ways:
1. I'm finding a way to regularly connect. In my Writing Abundance system I emphasize the practice of connection as the single most vital thing that a writer can do to improve his or her writing. By this I mean some sort of regular practice of meditation, prayer, relaxation,body movement whatever. You need to find a way to connect yourself to something larger than yourself, to the universe, the divine, Source, God, the goddess, Allah–whatever you prefer to call it.
2. I'm writing regularly. Putting yourself on the page breeds confidence. Period. It breeds confidence in your writing and who you are. Because the more you get to know yourself, the easier it is to share that with the world. And the more you write, the better you'll get to know yourself.
So there you have it, my thoughts on being who you are . Oh, and by the way, that photo at the top of this post? It is a house in Nashville that I drove past yesterday with my friend Sue and the picture doesn't even begin to do justice to the wonders of it. The house is laden with crocheted spider webs and other wonderfully complex chains and pillars wrapped with more knitted and crocheted pieces. This is the home of someone who is wonderfully, amazingly herself, and wants the world to know it. (If anybody happens to know who this person is, please let me know!)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on being yourself. When do feel most confident in who you are? When do you feel the least confident? When you feel unconfident, how do you get over it?
0 thoughts on “Be Who You Are”
Leisa A. Hammett
Beautiful, Charlotte! Hey, knitting is cool! At least here. And, I don’t even do it. It’s a part of the slowing-down, making your own stuff, craftsy-etsy craze. I think it is very zen. I do all these things you suggest but never related them to accepting myself. But see how it can in that they center you and keep your negative thoughts about whatever at bay.
Leisa, Knitting is pretty cool all over, but there’s still that odd old lady stigma to it. Not that there is anything wrong with being an old lady!
You nailed this one, Charlotte dear! One of my favorite quotes is from Martin Buber in The Way of Man, in which he says, “Mankind’s great chance lies precisely in the unlikeness of men, in the unlikeness of their qualities and inclinations.” Being “unlike” everyone else takes a lot of courage, but once we take that risk, the blessings unfold…
I love that, Kory, the idea that once we take the risk to be ourselves, blessings unfold. Beautifully put!
Thanks,Susan! I love doing jigsaw puzzles, too, and haven’t worked one for years. Perhaps it is time….
What a great post. I’m still finding myself. I’m a bit of a shifter, I suppose. I adapt.
A lovely post as always, Charlotte. Your vibrance shines through. I’m thinking of my own forgotten loves, the ones I don’t talk too much about…jigsaw puzzles, children’s books & bird-watching! And after all these years, remembering the peace of my mum knitting, I still gazing at brightly-coloured wool. x
Oh sorry, that was meant to read…”I still love gazing at..”
Thanks, December. Shifting is good! So is adapting!
Why do we care so much what other people think? this is a very good question for me to focus on. I believe it is something that, if I want to discover more of my self-potential, it is an essential question. Enough is rarely enough of this sort of question and it opens me up to deeper truths about how I’ve got everything set up and it is often a great challenge for me to get out of my comfort zones.
This is a particular question that often comes up for me, and I find it best to hold it in my concentration in my meditation. It is always answered in an experiential way – i.e. no rational explanation at all. The answer comes in the form of me just breaking through my barriers and sharing what I may think others would think crazy. Well, I’ve just got to be crazy to be practice Zen! – Not a judgement by the way, I am simply willing to be considered crazy!
Seriously, or maybe not so seriously, it is good to share our “stuff” as I believe it discharges any embarrassment we withhold, making more room in our over-crowded, chattering minds for our creative energies to flow.
And so we will happily consider you crazy, but not in a judgmental way, but a gloriously wonderful way…crazy in that you practice Zen and don’t care what anyone thinks!
And we are very glad that everybody knows, because your discussions of Zen enliven the comments so much!
Yeh… You’re right! There was a time when I was very cautious about who I told that I meditated – outside of my work that is. Now everybody knows…
Charlotte, first I want to say I LOVE that crazy house photo. It’s so cool, not my style, but the personality of the person who lives there shines through very clearly. Second, I want to ask you if you might have picked up some mind-reading techniques from my site? Your last few posts are on topics I’ve been stewing over. I’ve been thinking that I’m not really being true to myself in writing my blog. I keep trying to play it “straight” with a good ol’ fashioned self-helpie/advice blog when I really want to write more about spirituality and life after death, since I am a medium. Wsshew! I guess I’m out of the closet now.
Hey Angela, I didn’t know you are a medium and as soon as I hear that I want to know more. So here you are trying to play it straight and not write about it when it is what I really want to hear about. So common, isn’t it? Can’t wait to read some of your new blog posts.