Hello SOTGC community!
We have already had our first snowfall of the year here in Montreal, Canada. It thankfully melted upon contact with the ground, and the weatherman promises warmer days to come, but, nevertheless, it hinted towards the pending arrival of winter in an explicit way.
The sight outside, on this first snowfall of the year, inspired me in an odd way for this post. Bear with me as I take you on a quick journey through what was going through my mind on this first snowfall day of the year!
As I walked outside, hurriedly scurrying from the bank to my home, I saw the familiar view of Montreal when it gets cold … most people bundled up in their dark thick coats, hoods on, scarves covering most of the bottom of their faces. Somehow, more than ever, the winter makes the inhabitants of this city look more identical, more than ever like a city of scurrying ants; this gives the illusion somehow of less uniqueness. This, in my mind, on this first snowfall of the year, was juxtaposed with the snowflakes falling from the sky; appearing similar yet each and every one of them a unique and authentic version of frozen water. As all these thoughts were running through my mind, I started to think about the concept of being authentic to one’s self. Not only how we are able to be ourselves, but what elements in life allow us to do so unapologetically.
Canadian winter snowfall anecdotes aside, here are five ways that I hope will inspire you to not only always be yourself, but be yourself unapologetically!
- Surround yourself with people who truly allow you to be yourself.
The people in your life can make a huge impact on not only your ability to be yourself, but also on your comfort level in doing so. Surround yourself with people who encourage you, who are positive, who embrace you for you. These people can laugh with you at your little quirks, remind you of your unique strengths when you forget them, and help you grow in light of your weaknesses.
- Engage in things that allow you to simultaneously stay true to yourself but also gain fulfillment.
When you gain fulfillment from the things you do, you also gain internal motivation. When you are internally motivated in this way, it is easier to be yourself in an unapologetic, fearless, doubtless way. When what you are doing feeds your soul and inner drive, you are much less reliant on the external motivation of others. You are not only able to be true to yourself, but able to be so unapologetically in a self-sustainable way, so to speak!
- Encourage and advocate for a culture that celebrates uniqueness.
Not only are the people you surround yourself by important in creating an environment where you feel like you can be yourself unapologetically, but the culture in which you find yourself is also important! You can play a key role in nurturing a culture that celebrates uniqueness and authenticity; a culture that encourages people to be themselves. It can be as simple as supporting your friends in their own journeys towards staying true to themselves. Last year my friends and I wrote inspirational quotes about being true to one’s self on post-it notes and placed them all over the city. Find a way to advocate for an open-minded society and make a difference, no matter how big or small.
- Do not compare yourself to others; rather, live up to your own standards, ambitions, and dreams.
One way to harness the ability to be yourself, unapologetically, is to learn to not compare yourself to others but rather to embrace yourself for who you are and live up to your own goals, ambitions, and dreams. Define your self-worth from a place of self-appreciation and self-love. Live each day striving to be your best self. Be kind to yourself throughout it all.
- Be open to the vulnerability of sharing your truest self with others.
Being yourself comes along with quite a bit of vulnerability. It takes a great amount of courage and faith to be able to truly be yourself when surrounded by people or an environment that is not free of judgment. It takes time to be fearless in this respect, and it takes a great deal of work to become so fully comfortable in your own skin that these external threats have little effect. It is important to realize that it is all a work in progress and that being open to and self-aware of vulnerability is an important first step.
My dearest SOTGC community, what does being yourself mean to you? How does simply being yourself differ from being able to do so unapologetically? If this post resonated with you, share it with your friends, family and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter!