One of my closest friends is a creative director. Unlike me, who dives in deeply with every stranger I meet, she sits back like a wallflower, observes the situation and then tells the story of what she sees based on her observations. A director in her own life and sometimes in mine, she gave me some good advice recently, which dug deep. "If you don't like your current story, change it." It made me realize there are times when we feel stuck, when we think something is wrong with us, when our patterns and habits become our personalities, until one day we decide that's an old story.
The more you tell yourself, "This is who I am," the more your mind will believe it, and it will be harder to walk away from the version of yourself you have created. We have control to create ourselves as brands and as experts. If you start to analyze people's Klout's scores or Facebook posts, you can see different individuals have a different brand identity and a different story they are telling through their timeline, tweets and Instagram photos. They may or may not even know how they are coming across. They may think they are coming across as enjoying life, when in reality they are actually just looking like a slacker who doesn't really do anything besides party. They may think they are sharing their moments of elation when in reality, they are constantly bragging about their experiences. They may think they are sharing their emotions with their closest 3,000 friends, but in reality they are feeding the rest of the world with constant anxiety and negativity.
While we have control over what we post and share to the world to tell our story, we sometimes forget we have the same control over the story we tell to ourselves. "I only go for fixer-uppers, I could never survive anywhere but NYC, I am not beautiful, I am not smart enough for that job, I don't deserve that raise," and so on and so on. These insecurities and inequities manifest to become who we are. The more you constantly tell yourself, "this is what I deserve, this is who I am, this is all I will ever be," the farther you walk away from the true version of yourself, the version deep underneath all of the insults, the frustrations and the confusion.
It is extremely hard to make changes when your habits have become your reality. It is daunting to come to the conclusion you deserve only the best, you should reach your potential in love, work and in life because it is easier to just settle. The problem is when you don't know who you are, you can't expect anyone else to know who you truly are either. I have learned the more you surround yourself with people who see the best in you, who support you under any circumstance, who you could be vulnerable with, confused with and who will still love you anyway, the more you get closer to figuring out who you are.
You may be in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time and have to separate yourself, or you may be with the right people in the right time but putting your energy into all of the wrong situations. The most important thing I have learned recently is once you figure out what you want out of life, what you deserve, and what you need to be happy, it is a constant discipline to keep going after it and to make sure you continue to support those you love to help figure out who they are and want to be as well as doing the same thing for yourself. You should never feel like you can't be yourself. Because anyone you can't be yourself in front of doesn't deserve to be a part of your story anyway.
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