How can we be true to ourselves when everything around us is trying to make us someone we’re not?
Look around, how many people do you see that are being true to themselves, an original, unique and completely at peace with who they are?
It’s rare these days, particularly in a Western society, instead, all I see is everyone else, clones of someone they think they should be, getting caught up in our material world and forgetting who they really are or who they really want to be.
It’s hard to set yourself away from everyone when everyone is thought to be the norm. They’re considered to be the way we should all be, to work hard (too hard), to own all these nice things and be happy with exactly what we have.
It’s almost viewed wrong if we don’t follow suit and be part of the same game.
Take for instance when we are in school and are deciding what we should do when we grow up, all I remember at the time was thinking about what job would make me the most successful. Of course you want to choose a job that you enjoy but if it doesn’t make you successful then what good was it.
There was always an emphasis on being a Lawyer, a Police Officer, a Vet or a Doctor (jobs of course that are highly needed), but very rarely do you hear children wanting to become Artists, Bakers, Retail Workers, or Waiters/Waitresses.
The latter is commonly associated as either not a real job in society’s eyes, or it’s just a ‘dead end job’. Neither can be further from the truth though.
Think about this for a second, although that person may just be working in a restaurant or stocking shelves for a living they are still serving a purpose, they can progress if they wanted to and they are earning money; maybe not a significant amount of money, but if they can support themselves, enjoy life, have time to themselves and they are truly happy, then surely they have done something right.
It’s Tough Sometimes
I sometimes struggle myself in being true to who I really want to be, slowly I’m trying to work on that but my values are often challenged with what’s around me.
There is so much clever marketing out there, so many distractions and so many things that make me doubt what I do, who I am and sometimes I forget what really makes me happy.
I guess this goes back to me also trying to find out what career path I should take.
I always remember struggling in what to do, I was never very career focused or money fixated and initially I just wanted to do something in the Art Industry.
I was never a top student and struggled with getting any decent A-levels. I remember trying to study Economics, History, Physics and Art for my A-levels thinking this would lead me to good job prospects once I was done.
Unfortunately I’m a kinesthetic learner and so have problems remembering information, dates and formulas, something that was needed in most of these subjects. I ended up dropping out and coming out with just an A-level in Art.
With only one A-level in Art I become a little stuck in where to head next, with this I decided to go to Art College where I surprised myself and did pretty well.
After this I was again at another cross roads, do I go to University to study Art or do I find something else. In my mind then I couldn’t work out how I could earn money through Art and made the decision to do a qualification in Personal Training (sport was another thing I loved, so it made sense).
Where I Am Today
Skip nearly 10 years to today and after studying, travelling and then finally committing to it, Personal Training is still where I’m at.
However as we get older we grow, physically, mentally and emotionally. Things that we once believed in or loved can change, and we start to view things a little differently.
When I started training people 6 years ago I didn’t really have my own identity, I followed the crowd in doing what everyone else did, told people things that I thought I should be saying and for a long time didn’t think anything of it.
However as time went on, more so in the past year I started developing my own opinions and started to move away from the views of a typical trainer.
For a long time I believed we should all eat a certain way, to count our calories, to train so many days a week, to make sure we hit ‘x’ amount of protein and this would make us the healthiest possible version of ourselves.
Yet I feel so differently about this today.
Things Change And It’s Not Always A Bad Thing
Today I see there’s more to life than this. I myself have counted calories, banned certain foods from my life, became obsessed with food, got annoyed when I missed a workout, and if I even dare touch something that wasn’t on my diet plan I would be upset with myself. How crazy is this!
Now I must admit that when I started writing this post, I didn’t plan on getting into talking about diets and must refrain myself from getting anymore into it, however it’s such a great example of how we are not being true to ourselves.
I strongly believe in health over anything, not just physical health but mental health too, our mental well-being and how we feel on a day to day basis is so important and often overlooked, and eating a good diet has been proven time and time again to help this, yet with social media and diet after diet coming out, it’s no wonder we get confused and think we all have to look a certain way.
There’s too much pressure nowadays and everyone has become obsessed with how someone looks.
Our main priority should always be health and happiness, that’s it, everything else will follow.
After coming away from what I thought I should believe in to finding things I really believe in I feel I am making a real step towards being true to myself.
I understand how difficult it can be at times to see outside of what you know and think differently to what’s around you but I’m a great believer in doing what you love and doing something that will make you happy.
A few years or so ago I was working more hours than I ever wanted to be doing, and it was making me miserable. I wasn’t being true to myself and I just thought this was what normal life was meant to look like.
Needless to say I only managed to do this for a couple years before I burnt out.
After taking a step back I promised myself I’ll never work like that again.
Just Do What you Love
I honestly believe that if we all started living a more simpler less materialistic life doing the job or whatever it is we love, then we won’t have to work the way we think we need to be working.
We wouldn’t need to earn so much money and do so many hours.
We could take time to enjoy life a little more and see the beauty of what it really has to offer.
The last thing anyone should want is getting to the end of their life and wishing they worked less and discovered more.