Everyone encourages you to speak your mind and be yourself – until it steps on their toes. As a good friend of mine says, “We’re all hypocrites.” Sadly, not a lot of people are as self aware as my friend and they do not practice what they preach, or even admit to their faults.
In the past, and even somewhat in the present, I find myself tempted to apologize when my own expressions and ideas collide with another’s. I find myself often taking on another’s emotions, but I can’t do that anymore, because my current goal is to become as authentic as possible.
Not as nice as possible, not as well-liked or popular as possible, and not even as considerate as possible – as wholly, unapologetically, brutally authentic as possible.
You own your life. You own your experiences and you own how you feel about those experiences.
I’ve learned that people are going to try to convince you things about your life and yourself, no matter what you do or say. The solution here lies in not giving these people the power to change you. They don’t understand where you’ve come from, where you’re going, or your intentions.
You can try to explain yourself, but honestly, what’s the point? The ones we are meant to run with are already by our side and chances are we found these people when we weren’t worried about how we looked to them.
Word of mouth is a dangerous game as well. People can paint an entirely different picture of you if they want to, but go ahead and let them. Anyone worth keeping around forms their own opinion of you and is not swayed by the opinions of others.
Events and situations can be portrayed differently, depending on perspectives and incentives of public portrayal as well. Don’t buy it. It’s crap. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid.
Maybe it’s a good thing to step on some toes once in a while – it means we’re still dancing.
Know that your own heart is good and live your life with the best intentions and never apologize if someone doesn’t like that. Apologize if you have intentionally inflicted harm on another, but not if you spoke your truth and it bothered them. Chances are you hit a nerve on their own inability to be authentic and they could use your well wishes more than anything.
I would say to be yourself, but it’s too cliché, so instead I will say to own yourself, and to own your life.