Posts tagged personal development

How to be Yourself at Any Time

I find that a lot of people struggle to be themselves, especially when they’re surrounded by others who seem to be more confident, assertive, and even more beautiful.

Most of the time it’s because you don’t even know who you are yet, I mean, that’s me – still finding my groove; I’ve cut the cords with trying create this perfect vision of how my life is meant to pan out. But it’s like drugs – this sense of wanting to be a certain way, one day you’re high – loving the skin that you’re in, and the next, you’re wishing you could be Michelle Lewin, SA style.  It’s easy to get lost in ‘want’ of other people’s lives when you’re scrolling through social media and following feeds,  and you forget that you have just as much chance of achieving the goals of the person you’re following because they’ve done it and that’s proof that it’s possible.

A friend of mine is a primary school teacher and she was telling me about the poor public speaking skills of her grade seven girls. She said that their biggest problem was not their performance while speaking, it was that they weren’t really thinking about what they were saying. One of the learners spoke about her perfect day. She said that her perfect day was when she went to the shopping mall with friends, grabbed a bite to eat, and then went home. And that was it. It may have seemed perfect to her, but it sure as hell didn’t seem like a perfect day to me.  No punch line? How was that bland explanation of events supposed to relay perfection?

My friend went on to say that she wished her students would ask more questions because in this day and age students are only taught their required curriculum, they appear to memorize it well, and then leave at the end of the day, still uneducated because they bother to ask questions. She said that if the student had just spoken earnestly about her perfect day, it would have changed everything. She could have spoken about what they ate at the mall, what time they’d arrived, whether something weird or funny happened, even if it didn’t seem important, it would have been a less boring speech. Instead she recited answers to the brief exercise. And there was no personality. Anyone in the world could have said what she’d said and that’s not the goal of public speaking; “you need to present an element of yourself that no one else can offer – and it’s those simple details like “we left for the mall at 5pm, or I was running late after a piano lesson” that says something about you without boasting. Even those minor details would have shaped a better speech.”

Our discussion had me thinking, all you have in life is you. You have what you know, what you’ve learned and your unique characteristics – that’s what sets you apart from the rest of the human race. And if that is all you have to distinguish yourself from billions of people in the world, why are we not embracing the details, the stretch marks, the dark times, and the memories? No one else has them, at least not of the same vision. We can’t spend the rest of our lives learning to be certain types of people and have our potential harnessed to the back of our minds. It’s so limiting. It makes us look permanently nervous.

Your personality – that’s all you. The minute you suppress your ideas, feelings, goals and desire, you give yourself a chance to adapt to someone else’s traits, and at the end of the say, you’re no more than a statistic. That’s not why you’re here, that cannot be your goal in life. Aspire, inspire, and live well.

Feature photo/ Pixabay

 

The 5 Rules for Growth.

Let this be a guide to refining the best of you.

My journey through Blogging 101 has been quite rewarding – I’ve connected with a diverse blogging community and learned so much in the interim. One thing that I’d discovered was that successful people always write and speak in simple terms, and stick to the key components of any development process, which I’ve jotted down for you below:

#2: Don’t Be Pretentious

It’s really annoying. But more importantly, it does more harm than good for what you’re trying to accomplish. My favourite bloggers are the ones who write truthfully, and simply, for example, Alice, author of Are you Better Yet? writes about her life as a 23-year-old woman suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. Her stories are heartfelt because she is just so brutally honest. And then there’s Janet Sunderland, who simply recalls moments of her life in the most exquisite way – you’ll imagine that you’d shared those moments with her, that’s how great her writing is.

Everyone won’t find you appealing but at the end of the day, your goal should be to surrounded yourself with like-minded people.

#3: Start small

Whether you have big dreams or small goals, it only ever becomes reality once you do something about it. One of my colleagues runs for exercise on a weekly basis, and she says that the hardest part of running is getting your shoes on. Once that’s out of the way, you’re hyped up and ready for action. And I could absolutely relate. Small changes make a big difference.

#4: Be consistent

And be patient. I’m the type of person who’ll get home after a workout and stand in front of the mirror to spot bodily changes. I know that the results won’t show immediately but before I hop into the shower, I’ll turn another 360° in the mirror, just to be sure. Try your best not to do that with your goals. You’ll notice the results of your small changes in a big way, if you are consistent and patient.

#5: Learn from the experts

How deep is that line by Elizabeth (Lauren Graham) in The Answer Man (d/ John Hindman, 2009) when she says to Arlen Faber: “I only have three rules: don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with, try not to do something you can’t take back, and something is what it is and it’s not something else.” Can I get an amen?! There is something to learn from everyone but you should ensure that you’re collecting tips from the right people. Look to the ones with (successful) experience in your field for guidance.

Can you think of any more rules of development to add to the list? Post a comment in the section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za. I’d love to hear from you!