It’s not impossible, but it takes courage. It takes courage to be and to think differently. But the act of being and thinking differently is only different to those looking at you from the outside.
If you make up your mind that you're fully in control of your destiny -- if you decide to choose what you want to believe in -- then you're not being different. You're being you.
Recognize that those who say you're crazy, or those who try to stop you from being or thinking differently, are only confronting their own demons; they're trying to reaffirm their own beliefs.
If others give you advice, listen. If they tell you what you should or should not do, listen. But decide for yourself. Believe in yourself. Be yourself.
The only risk in being yourself is the risk of learning something about yourself. If you're not willing to take that risk, then go ahead, follow the crowd; follow the well trodden path that so many others follow.
On the other hand, if you're willing to learn, and to explore, and to discover, then step up to the plate. It’s your time to take charge. It’s time for you to shine. It’s time for you to take action and decide what you really want from life. It’s time to accept responsibility for being you.
Don’t be afraid. You can do this.
You will definitely make mistakes. Everybody does. Making mistakes is part of growing. It’s part of what it means to be human. If you’re afraid of making mistakes, then you’re afraid of being human! Doesn’t that sound silly? Why should you be afraid to be human?
Stop taking a comfortable, laid back approach to life. Stop taking it easy. Know that you are unique. And beautiful. And powerful. And smart. Know that you are capable of so much more than you currently believe. Know that as a human being your only limit to growth is the limit you decide to set for yourself.
Could you find happiness quietly settled in a mold that society expects you to sit in? Could you find happiness being like everybody else? Absolutely. But could you reach your full potential; your full potential to be happy, to love, to live? Absolutely not.
Your potential is limitless. Free yourself from false beliefs.
Those who love you will understand. Deep down inside they want you to be happy. They want you to be yourself. They want you to be real.
Be honest with yourself. Follow your intuition. Follow your inner compass.
Do you have a dream? Then follow it. Believe in it. Make it the driving force behind every single action; every single step. Dedicate every single breath to achieving that dream.
No dream? Then free yourself from anything that prevents you from exploring and discovering your dream.
And if you don’t discover your dream, maybe your dream is to simply live. To live happy. To live healthy. To live free. To laugh and to love.
This life is a one-way ticket to a wonderful journey. If you’re not being yourself, then you're giving that ticket away to somebody else.
You deserve to be yourself.
It’s time to dig deep. It's time to be strong. It's time to put your foot down.
This is your chance.
What a great reminder, and so well-written – to get out there and live our life from what really sings in our hearts. And that does take courage, as we step outside of the box we are in. The box of conformity. There is so much that comes, though, from following our heart and soul….
Thank you for the comment, Lance!
Breaking free of conformity means venturing into the unknown, so we should expect it to be scary; we should expect it to require courage. The rewards awaiting those willing to follow their hearts into the unknown are worth the value of life itself!
I love the way you express your thoughts! It’s like…. A breath of fresh air. So revitalizing. Ahhhhhhhhh
Thank you, Isabell. 🙂 I’m so happy you enjoyed this. Its been a few years since I last read this post and your comment helped me rediscover it!
This is an important message you’re conveying, Raam. I think if someone truly gets this message on a deep level (not just hearing it with their rational mind), it is life changing. It was for me, anyway. Great post!
That means a lot to me, Bart. Thank you!
Bravo! Love it!
Thanks Amy! 🙂
Making mistakes is the only way to grow and learn……without mistakes then our life would be stuck/stable……….BEAING YOURSELF MEANS BEING YOUR OWN ROLE MODEL and no one else is. My happiness is limitless, therefore I am NOT going to wast it (trying to live a lie or pretending to be someone else) while i’m still alive!!…….Life is pointless when you’re not honest to yourself first and others!!
I absolutely agree! We should strive to “be our own role model” every single day! While there is nothing wrong with looking up to others and learning from them, we should be careful not to strive to BE them.
The only way we’re going to achieve our limitless potential is to recognize and accept both the things that make us the same AND the things that make us unique.
Thank you for the comment!
I stumbled upon your blog and now following your life experience. Agree that we need to control our own destiny and not let the world dictate the “right” and “wrong” way to live our lives. Each of us are designed differently so why would we expect that there is uniformity in the “best” way to live our life. We owe it to ourselves to examine our walk honestly and make the necessary changes to find true peace and happiness.
Hey Jamie! Thanks for following me! I really appreciate it!
I totally agree! Taking control of our destiny is so important to our overall wellbeing and we do owe it to ourselves; in fact we owe it to life itself.
If we don’t even make an attempt to “examine our walk” (I really like that, by the way), then we’re missing a fantastic opportunity, one that we may or may not (depending on what you believe) have again.
It is no doubt a courageous thing to live the life you want, especially when most people have to go through so many different social pressures, from family, friends, coworkers, media, and entertainment alike, just to find out what one truly wants out of life.
As I’ve been preparing to change my lifestyle to become a traveling nomad — I quit my job, left my apartment, and now I’m selling the last of my possessions — I have encountered every single one of those social pressures you mentioned. It made me realize why it’s often so hard for others to find themselves… to be themselves.
It would appear that nobody even wants us to be ourself! It seems like they would rather see us fit in, mimic, and act like everybody else; do what everybody else does; share everyone else’s stress, pain, and dissatisfaction.
What a horrible way to live! As I’ve been realizing all of this, I’m beginning to make it one of the driving forces behind my making blogging such a focal point in my new lifestyle: I want to help others to find the same courage to simply be themselves.
Thank you for the comment, Steven! I checked out your blog and it looks full of thought-provoking material, so I subscribed — I look forward to your future posts!
Thank you for the wonderful read. I had to read this a few times, just so I could really process it on a gut level. So often we’re all so afraid to follow our inner compasses, but as long as we have the courage to be ourselves, to listen to our hearts, and to express what it is we really think and feel despite others calling us “weird” or “crazy” (what is “weird” anyway? I’d rather be weird than “normal” any day.) than life is ours for the taking.
We just have to have the courage to follow what’s inside. What’s inside our hearts.
Thanks man, I really appreciated this read. I wish you all the best.
You’re welcome, Eddie! Thanks for the comment. 🙂
I was always “weird” or “different” growing up and I would take people calling me those as a compliment! I think it’s awesome to be weird and different! Being true to ourselves and following our inner compass is the only way to live. Anything less and we’re nothing more than copy cats or puppets.
thanks for the advice it really helped
You’re welcome, Alyssa! I’m happy I could help. 🙂
I just discovered your website/blogsite..and it’s very timely considering my situation now. Your thoughts on life are insightful and brings out the simplicity of everything we truly need as human beings.
I am now in the point of my life where I am sliding back to my comfort zone. It’s pretty much difficult to decide when loved ones depend on you…for almost everything. But I know…I just need to hold my act together and decide. Not deciding at all is a decision in itself.
Thanks Raam. I also saw your video about following our inner compass. I was thrilled…and at the same time, I felt guilty. Up to how long will I ignore my inner compass?
Hi Che, thank you for the comment. I’m really happy you’re enjoying the blog!
If you have loved ones who depend on you, see if you can make the decision with them — make it a group decision; talk about it. Just remember that once you have a family of your own (I’m assuming that’s who depends on you), less of your life is about you and more of it is about them.
A great way to put it, I’m not giving my ticket to anyone. I believe I can do it and be myself. I struggle with enjoying the journey and present moment stuff.
I’m with you, Tess. I have a hard time enjoying the journey and being present too. I feel like I’m always thinking ahead, towards the future. Living in the moment is definitely a work-in-progress, but I think it’s worth every drop of effort! 🙂
Living in the NOW gets easier with practice and Tess, it is not always easy, but it is doable. I too, concern myself with the future…but I am learning acceptance is very helpful. I just had a long post and made what I see as an error, but now see that maybe I was being tooo wordy.
NOW is all we have.
NOW is all we see.
NOW is it.
NOW if one can’t see that, as one said, it is a work in progress.
love from a spacequeen.
(((SUPER HUGS TO ALL)))))
I really need to free myself from this chain which I’m tied up to. I need help, its a lot harder for me because I’ve been into gangs since i was 15, I though it was me but its not, I’m growing up and defiantly regretting everything I’ve let slip threw my fingers because of gangs. School, College, My Future, and most importantly MYSELF!!! i cant find the courage to be myself! i feel like I’m a bird, I’m at the edge of the nest and I know I need to jump off and fly but I can’t find the courage to jump! can you help me?, it would change my life and I would highly appreciate it.
Just think about what a huge step you’ve already made! You’ve been able to see what needs to change and you’ve found the courage to want to be yourself. That’s huge! That’s the biggest first step you can take, and you’ve already taken it.
Now you just need to keep going. Instead of thinking about what you don’t have or what you didn’t do, think about what you do have and what you can do. There’s no point in dwelling on the past… you can use that time to focus on the future. Nobody is perfect, but everybody has enormous potential.
Finding the courage to be yourself starts with wanting to discover who you are, and it sounds like you’ve already taken that first step. Now just keep going. Keep exploring. If you don’t feel ready to leap from the nest, then start hopping down the branch and moving slowly. 🙂
Hey Anonymous. I hear you. I also let my teenagehood and early adulthood slip past with heavy drinking, spending all my cash on partying and drinking, and basically having no direction or thought for the future.
I’m pleased to say that while it’s a definite setback, it’s not worse than how many other people set themselves back by jumping straight into a career. Now that your older and ready for change, you can pick a more conscious direction and go for it.
My lifestyle now is less secure than a career lifestyle, but I have experimented with man different hobbies and jobs, and even invented a cool vegan cheese that might just make me a self-made man in time.
You don’t need to regret the past. What you didn’t know, you can’t be blamed for. You ARE always yourself, sleeping perhaps. You don’t need to exert any special effort to be yourself. You just have to not try to be something else. What you are, you are, wherever you are. This is the ultimate security.
Best wishes for the future.
I’m planning to share this with my middle school students!
Thank you so much for letting me know, Kristin! That means so much to me. 🙂
Please how do I get the full book…. Have been looking for it for 6yrs now
Which book are you referring to?
“Courage to be yourself” …. I really need this book
Thanks for stopping by, AJ, and for helping me rediscover my own writing just when I needed it! 🙂 I’d love to hear more about what you’re struggling with that brought you here to see how I can help.