“You are free to do whatever you want. You need only face the consequences.”-Sheldon Kopp, American Psychotherapist
How do you define yourself? Are you a Writer? A Photographer? A Sculptor, a Poet, a Painter, a Potter, a Yoga Master, a Chef? All too often, we describe ourselves awkwardly and tentatively, with a combination of explanations and disclaimers. It’s as if we don’t feel we deserve to use those labels. Our experiences have shown us that using them usually leads to being questioned with “Oh, have you written a book?” or “Have you had a show?” or “Do you have a YouTube Channel?” As if these were the milestones we need to reach in order to be considered worthy of the title. Imposter syndrome kicks in, and we suck those words right back up.
You have to want it, believe it, and own it. Who do you really want to be? Who are you now compared to that? What steps can you take to bridge that gap? What’s holding you back from being that person? You certainly don’t need anyone else’s permission or validation to be anything you want to be. There are obvious things that we cannot change, but we can change how we react to them. There are some changes that may take some time, but are you moving in the right direction? Can you envision yourself being that person and living that life?
Our capitalistic society is always pushing us to be more productive, accomplish more tasks, buy more material possessions, and fit in. The result is often anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and low self-esteem. Just maybe our to-do lists should include being authentic, being kinder and more supportive of other people, and respecting and valuing our own self-worth instead of just getting more tasks done.
You are the greatest piece of art that you’ll make in your lifetime. And each of us will always be a work in progress. Life changes and changes us in the process. Priorities shift, lessons are learned, goals are adjusted. Be careful not to lose yourself in the waves. Stay true to yourself, and it will show in your work. Create the person you want to be.
I’ll wrap this up with one of my favorite quotes from my mother, who always encouraged us to be whomever and whatever we wanted to be…
“Don’t be normal…normal is so boring.” -Selma Bersin