We've all been there. There's a conversation going on and everyone's nodding and agreeing on this or that, and even though your inner voice is screaming “Traitor!” you nod along and pretend to agree when you don’t.
It's normal, right? Maybe. But is it right?
Probably more often than we’d like to admit, we find ourselves going against our true feelings just to fit in, get along, not make waves or seem weird. It seems we've accepted that, in life there are a lot of times where this is what needs to be done, so we do it… but at what price?
Could you be at your most beautiful when you don’t even realise it?
Now this might seem a little voyeuristic, but stay with me. I don’t know about you but I just love seeing people in those little moments when they think no one is watching. When just for a time they're disconnected from the world and alone with themselves. How different they seem: The honesty in their actions and reactions because they don’t perceive an audience or any judgment. It’s quite beautiful and you almost fall a little bit in love with them for a second because of it.
Then, as if coming out of a trance they snap back to where they are and look around and begin to ‘act' again how they think they should because someone is probably watching. All at once, that interesting unguarded ‘something' that was there is gone.
I have been extremely fortunate to travel and live in quite a few different countries and immerse myself in different cultures. Something that has always stood out to me is that humans, no matter how or where they were raised, seem to feel strongly that they have to fit in. This usually means suppressing the weirdest and wonderful parts of themselves—in some cases for a lifetime.
Could risking it all and being the full blown you really all end in disaster? What's really on the line when we bare our souls for all to see?
So, what are we giving away when we go through life chipping away at our real selves to live moments, weeks, years pretending to be, to agree, to fit in? When the weird, interesting and unique inner us hides away in the shadows, only coming out once in a while when it’s safe.
Are we committing social suicide if we blurt out our real feelings, wear the outfit that’s a little too loud to the office because it makes us happy, admit over dinner party chit chat that, actually, we can’t stand Beyonce and share our secret obsession for obscure Turkish pop music instead?
Maybe we'll lose a few friends, blow a ton of dates and upset a few people, but imagine—just for a second—the people who do stick around for more.
If there's a price to pay for living as our true selves more often, then I'd say it’s worth it.
The few times in life I can pinpoint a moment where it occurred to me that I was in love with someone has never been ‘he made the right move' or ‘he seemed so cool' or ‘he impressed me with this or that clever remark'. Instead, it has always been in those natural moments when they accidently snorted during a great belly laugh or shared a secret you never knew in an off guard moment.
It’s the dancing in front of the mirror doing a terrible Mick Jagger impersonation when you think no one is home that will make a heart smile when remembered in years to come. That little glimpse of truth that says we're all really ridiculous and why are we even bothering to try hide it.
Feeling the fear and doing it anyway
The thrill of taking the leap into the stronger more confident you.
Sure, it’s scary, risky and nerve racking to expose ourselves and open ourselves to those often judgmental side glances or strange looks we all fear when we open up and let the world see who we really are. There is no rule in life that says everyone has to like you or even understand you; most people probably don't even understand themselves most of the time.
So, give yourself a break and make friends with your inner weirdo.
We all have her and she has stuff to say, things to do and even mistakes to make. When we stifle her, we create a blockage to our own truth, and quite possibly to our destiny, that is to be lived out via knowing who we are and our own unique story and purpose here.
There is no such thing as a totally cool together human being no matter how great of a show your friends or acquaintances are putting on.
We've all seen the online versions of peoples’ lives on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and we've all seen that the truth is often very different than most people want us to believe, and that’s ok, too.
Truth is, we are all just as confused and clueless as the next, all looking at one another hoping to see a glimmer in someone's eye that tells us we're doing this all right.
The truth is there is no ‘right', of this I am sure. Just do it your way, and try wearing your weirdness on the outside for a while each day if you can, and give the world a chance to fall in love with the real you.