Oh! Do I hate being pushed into a mold! It’s like being a square sponge being squished into some round mold. I am different and consequently do not fit just any mold…
Can you relate to this poor sponge? It’s wrinkled and uncomfortable, busting out of the mold from every side. Kinda like fitting a tight pair of jeans and not being able to pull it up, but you are still trying to sausage yourself in there. None of this is comfortable, natural, or enjoyable. I despise “human” molds!I can feel this negative emotion filling my body from the tip of my toes, rising up and overflowing out the roots of my hair.
Others’ expectations of us can be paralyzing. I think of the kids asked to put a bubble in their mouth and line up near the wall in a single file line as they wait to go from their classrooms to the cafeteria or media room. I would die if I had to do that! Nobody is me, and I am not everybody! I follow the general rules and can still be in line to go from one place to the other, but why do I have to hold a stupid bubble in my mouth??? Argh! (this is just an example/metaphor, by the way).
So what I am getting at is the fact that we tend to get into this rut where we look for other’s approval and try to meet their expectations to a degree that is debilitating to us. We forfeit our uniqueness to “fit in” and only then are we happy. Temporarily…
The gist is to remind you that we are UNIQUE. There is nobody who can be like us. If we do not fit others’ expectations, it’s ok. There is no need for friction, we can gently explain that we have a different way of doing things, and move forward. I am still working on this “explaining gently” part because I find myself so frustrated at times that the calmness goes out the window after a certain point. We are all a work in progress after all…
I want to encourage you to be proud of your uniqueness. There is so much about you that makes you a gift! You are not like anybody else and you don’t want to be like anybody else either. By you compromising who you are, you deprive the world of your own gifts. As I mentioned several times, nobody can do you like you.
So if you are a bit weird, you have more corks than “normal” people, you put your foot in your mouth more often than not, you are a bit awkward, you don’t always say the “right thing”, and you do not have the “natural reaction” to certain things, consider yourself lucky because NOBODY can do those things like you. Annndddd….. Maybe, others might learn from you too. If people around you have some issues with it, maybe it’s time to either show them more of who you are and invest in being vulnerable, or choose to be with different people who will appreciate and understand you.
Here is what I have been practicing to embrace who I am. I hope you can find those useful too:
Practice Affirmations. They are a great way to self-love.
Practice Self Compassion. When things get rough, I take the time to break it down and look for the lesson in a situation. As a result, it helps me manage better when I am kind to myself.
Practice Courage. It takes a lot to put myself out there, to be open to vulnerability.
Remember also that everyone has room for improvement. You can always learn from experiences, so leave room to be open for some learning.
Enough of this living to others’ expectations! That causes some mean constipation of character and even unmanageable stress. You are YOU, and that makes you Beautiful!
Bank on that!