It’s easy to say that worrying about what people think is a waste of time. I have said it, you have certainly heard it before.
However, at least for me, when I say “I’m scared of what people will think about me,” it’s not entirely what I mean.
I don’t care what people think. I’m over what people think ages ago. Most of you guys are probably too.
Thus, when we say, “I’m scared of what people think about me,” what we’re truly saying is: “I’m scared of what my friends think. I’m scared of discovering that some of my friends are not my real friends.”
I came to this conclusion when I let down my shield and found the courage to be 100% honest with myself.
When you try to do anything out of the ordinary, there will always be people who’ll hate you for it. Maybe they’re envious, maybe it’s a reflection of what they want to do but couldn’t, or maybe they simply don’t agree with what you are doing.
Either way, when you do something you normally wouldn’t do or say something you normally wouldn’t say, you risk people walking out on you.
That’s the reason why for the longest time, I’ve been scared to be myself, to put my thoughts out there.
I was scared to find out that the moment I start being myself and say my thoughts, I’ll offend some people. I was scared to learn that I have less friends than I think I do.
It thus felt safer to conceal the real me in order to keep up the fantasy that all of my friendships are real.
And you know what, I have the right to be scared. If this is the reason why you are scared to be your true self too, you have the reason to be as well.
Walking out on others or being walked out on is never fun. Regardless of who that person is and even if it’s for the best, it never NOT hurts.
Here’s another truth though, some things have to fall apart to make ways for better things.
My ex was someone who never understood me. He, like a lot of people, had a bias against pole dancing, and he never took the time to understand why I liked it.
Despite the pain and the frustration I’ve had to endure in that relationship, it still hurt when it ended.
However, I’m now in a much better relationship where I’m loved BECAUSE of the stuff I do, because I am who I am and not who I am pretending to me.
If some friendships have to fall apart too because I am who I am, then I think I’m okay with that.
Like the rose from The Little Prince has said:
“I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful.”
Being your true self will set you free. Of course, it might make you scared and miserable at first. However, in the end, it will set you free because from then on, you know the people you attract all love you for the real you.
A version of this was published on Medium.