Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How to be comfortable in your own skin

Isn't that a great title for a blog entry? Have you ever felt a bit uncomfortable in your own skin? (Have you noticed that I like to ask questions? The delivery nurse when I was born said of me, "She looks like she wants to ask a question.") I wish that I had all the answers instead of constantly coming up with all the questions. But hey, maybe then I wouldn't be me.

Anyway, today I found day-changing encouragement in the waiting room of a local oil lube / state inspection place. I picked up the February 2007 issue of Real Simple even though I'd brought Gone with the Wind for my reading material and came across an article entitled, "Dare to be different," by Gail Blanke. She's the life coach for Real Simple magazine, and while I've been ambivalent about life coaches in the past, Gail had great advice on staying true to yourself.

Gail writes, "Most of us are afraid to be controversial, or even too intensely who we are. We're like lemonade with too much water in it and too few lemons. We dilute our 'flavor' so we won't offend anyone. And, in the process, we give away our power, the essence of who we are that makes us unique and unforgettable."

A few paragraphs later I got the extra encouragement that I needed. She said, "Truth is, the world belongs not to the one who fits in but to the one who stands out. In music, art, architecture, entertainment, literature, politics, and business, it's the maverick, the one who gets 'carried away,' who wins the day. OK, so you may not want to rule the world or win public office or even be the next American Idol. But to get whatever is it you do want, the principle is the same: Be unabashedly yourself."

Gail Blanke maintains that, "... if enough people love you, the one's who don't, don't matter." While that's a nice sentiment, I'm not sure I subscribe to it. I'm still affected by loved ones opinions of me.

1 comment:

scienceteachermommy said...

Interesting post. We actually talked about this at my book club last week. I am not sure how it came up, but we began talking about the idea of repentance and forgiveness and a change of heart. In the process we talked about how there are times you have to give up some of the really cherished parts of ourselves to be more Christlike.

My mother once said when I came home from my mission that there had been a price to pay for what I'd learned and that somehow I was different than I'd been before. She said it with a trace of regret.

Nemesis then said that she thought that part of the reason it is so hard for us to give up these parts because the world we are a part of focuses so much on defining your identity, asserting yourself, being a stand out. Sometimes the ways we do that are not always Christlike.

It was an interesting discussion. Obviously I am all for retaining your personality and not pretending to be someone else; but I think it was Elder Maxwell who once said, "Be yourself, but be your best self." So in our declaration to be independent from watered down personality, it is vital to remember who we are first and foremost. Children of God.

I always turn your blog into mine. Sorry for the long comments!