THREE WAYS TO BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF
When I stumbled on the quote above... it hit me hard. Nothing to hide? Nothing to prove? Nothing to defend? Maybe it's my personality, but I am the type of person who likes to prove myself to others. I want to prove to you that I know what I'm talking about. I want to prove you wrong if you think I can't do something. I want to prove that I am the right person for the job. But after reading the quote from Lisa Nichols, I realized that hiding, protecting, proving, and defending are all shields to keep the world from seeing who we really are. To keep us from seeing who we really are. So how do we take down our shields and find and share the best version of ourselves? I have a few ideas:
- Give it time.
- Don't take it personally.
Give it time.
Most lame advice ever, I know, but it's true. When I look back at how I saw the world at 20, at 24, and at 27... I see that at each point, I thought I knew who I was and I was pretty set in my ways. Now I realize that the best version(s) of ourselves is constantly evolving and we'll never "arrive." However, we can gain a lot of ground with patience, an open mind, and hard work. To stop shielding yourself from the world, you must give yourself time to get there.
With every blog post I write, I learn more and my shields come down inch by inch, word by word. There's something about taking your self-talk out of your head and onto screen/paper that opens the mind up to new possibilities and growth. Write about your insecurities. Write about your challenges and fears. Write like you have nothing to hide/be ashamed of. Write like you have nothing to protect or defend. Write like you have nothing to prove. And soon you'll find that those things are illusions holding you back. It's important to note that you don't have to write in a public forum to get these benefits. Write for yourself to see the same, if not more, advantages.
Don't take it personally.
Hiding, protecting, proving, and defending are all words centered on other people. We feel we must hide who we are from those around us. We must protect ourselves from the pain others can cause. We must prove we are worthy of someone else's time. We defend our opinions for fear of being perceived as wrong. When we focus on others, we lose sight of ourselves and our potential. So how do we move past the motions of shielding ourselves from other people? You do your best to not take what they say personally. Did someone challenge your beliefs? They may be looking to prove and defend themselves and it doesn't really have anything to do with you. When we realize that most of what we say and do are shaped by our internal baggage, we realize that it is the same for the rest of the world. And when we stop taking what the rest of the world says to us personally, we can begin to expand into a person who stops hiding and protecting themselves and into one who is confident and comfortable in their own skin.
Photo by Peter Hershey