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Being Unapologetically You

Have you ever felt lost, worried and confused about the reason for your existence or has your confusion gotten as far as believing that your presence on earth was a mistake? Have you ever thought that you were born into the wrong race, country, tribe, social and economic background? Have you failed at something you genuinely wanted and completely gave up on trying to succeed? Have you at any point felt broken and resorted to masking your true feelings because everyone around you was doing the same? The tides of life seems to turn against you and take you on a journey of self doubt until your inner spark dims.

Hi there! It is okay. It is okay to feel lost sometimes because as Henry David Thoreau said, not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. In my article on personal branding, I noted that being self aware is the first step to building your brand and becoming who you truly are. Self-knowledge is self-empowerment and self-empowerment comes with self-improvement which ultimately leads you to being the best version of yourself.

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." – E.E. Cummings

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self”. The journey to being you is therefore difficult albeit, it is definitely worth the adventure. In this article, I provide helpful tips that will guide you on your journey to being the best version of yourself and to start living intentionally from today.

  • Define yourself:

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein

It is a breath of fresh air to find someone who has clearly defined himself, accepted his uniqueness and projected it to the world. In defining yourself, you have to intentionally decide what works for you and what doesn't. Defining yourself aids you in making clear decisions about your core values and not be easily influenced by external forces. There are so many societal norms that definitely do not work for you. You need to identify them and consciously delete them from your activities. As a student for instance, you are expected to make use of the school's library and burn the mid-night candle (read overnight) as well. If this does not work for you, do not join the bandwagon! Find the space you are best productive in. Do not let your being be defined by the standards set by others! Defining your self comes with an air of innate confidence. Start taking control of your progress and growth today! Be unafraid to stand tall in your TRUTH!

  • Forgive yourself:

"Don’t dwell too much on the past. The lessons are useful for the present and a preparation for the future. Move on!" ― Lailah Gifty Akita, Author of Think Great.

One of my favorite quotes is, 'In life, you either win or you learn'. Forgiving yourself is therefore, essential to your progress. As humans, we have the tendency to hold ourselves more accountable than others. This makes it easier to forgive others when they fall than when we do. Understand that sometimes, you need to fall in order to fly. Boldly and confidently face everything that has, and is, keeping you from flying. Come to terms with your past and fight for your inner peace! Fight for your happiness! Fight for your progress! You owe it to yourself to grow! Grow without regrets, without beating yourself, and without anything that deprives you from experiencing true happiness. Don't let your inability to forgive yourself deprive the world of your amazing contributions. You are too important to waste your life away replaying mistakes that can never be undone! Learn to value yourself! You deserve true happiness no matter what you’ve done. Whenever I make mistakes, I do not consider myself to have failed but rather I have learnt to become better. Start by saying this to yourself today.

  • Love yourself

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha

The saying that 'No one can love you unless you genuinely love yourself' is not overrated. This is because developing an intimate connection with your being envelops you with positive energy and when you project positive energy, you attract like energies only. You will find that when you become more loving towards yourself, you will start being more comfortable in your own lovely company. You will start to believe in yourself more, trust yourself better and understand more about yourself. Self-love also helps you in creating meaningful symbiotic relationship with others. Do not feed yourself with lies that you are not worth it. You are worth everything and more. Every morning before you step out of your room, declare the chorus in 'Everything to me' by Skylar Gray until you believe it.

(Insert your name) everything you are, is everything I need, you are everything to me.
(Insert your name) every single part is who you are meant to be, cause you were meant for me and you are everything I need.
  • Protect your space

Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Brian Koslow

It is true that you are an average of the five people you spend most of your time with. Why spend it with people who don't value you? The time you spend around other people may be one of the most significant investments you make, you either make a bad investment or a good one. You could be sabotaging your growth by surrounding yourself with negative people. Negative people can rob you of your happiness, progress and peace of mind. Negativity is contagious. Do not allow it in your space! Instead build a strong connection with people that will hold you accountable and empower you to be great. Be courageous to let go of people who do not align with your dreams and values! Contrary to popular view, not all toxic people are bad. Sometimes, they could just be good people that are not meant for you and you need to let them go. You have every right to cut them off and create a safer space for yourself.

  • Live Intentionally

“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others' choices make us.” ― Richie Norton

Living intentionally means deliberately living the kind of life that fulfills and enriches you everyday. It is about knowing why you do what you do and why you don’t do what you don’t do. A famous musician once said 'to live doesn't mean you are alive. What a lot of us are really doing is living. We are only existing. Our life portrays no element of being alive. It is important to understand that everyday is filled with choices and opportunities. It is in your court to decide how you intend your day to be. Discover your purpose! Set goals that are directly in line with your purpose! Have something you look forward to waking up to every morning. Let your daily activities take you one step closer to achieving your purpose. Stop living on autopilot! Be deliberate and intentional about your growth.

  • Avoid comparing yourself with others:

“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.”- Regina Brett

If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend the rest of its life thinking it is stupid. Just as the fingers are not equal, we all have our distinct capacities, strengths and weaknesses. Start by appreciating your achievements and personal journey. Instead of feeling jealous about the successes of others, be genuinely happy for them. Let their success serve as an inspiration and motivation to you only. Do not use it as an avenue to beat yourself over. We are all special in our unique ways and it is your duty to live the life that was designed for you and not that of another. Look into the mirror. Yes! that is your only competition. The goal is to be a better version of that person.

Above all, you need to believe in yourself. No matter how much actions you take towards your personal development, if you do not believe in you. If you do not believe that you are important. If you do not believe that the world needs you to be you and that you hold the key to unlocking your doors, you will achieve nothing.


Start Being You!

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