You be you... all the time
After, of course, figure out who you are
Who are you? Really, who are you?
Are you the same person across the board? Do you act one way at work and another way at home and even another way when you’re out with friends?
Not only is that practice exhausting, but it also’s disingenuous and serves no one… least of all, you! Being genuine removes conflict and greases the rails for peace and stability in your life. No joke!
I can already hear the clamor of, “Everyone has to act appropriately to their surroundings! You don’t dance at a funeral, after all! Right???” True. But that would be conflating one’s true self with adhering to social norms.
Confusing? Possibly. After all, it is inappropriate to dance at a somber event. We all have emotions and we all live in a civilized society. That’s a given. Yet, are you consistent regardless? This may take some effort on both of our parts so buckle up. Let’s go for a ride.
Popeye proudly stated, “I yam what I yam!” No doubt every one of us can state the same. I mean, who else would we be?
The trouble with simply stating that you are who you are is that you may not truly understand who you are and why you are the way you are. No offense, but that goes for roughly 99% of the population (in my estimation, of course). I too am discovering new things about myself all the time. I’m sure you are as well.
Here’s what I’m getting at: if you don’t truly know who you are, it’s tough to know where you fit in this world. I’m pretty sure you don’t consider yourself a rogue misfit who is bound to walk this earth like a lone wolf vagabond - you wouldn’t have read this far. Folks who think that way have their true self shrouded beneath layers of pride. Yet, is there a tinge of that in how you view yourself?
In my view, there are four factors that shape this mysterious, complicated, fascinating You:
You obviously have a genetic makeup. There are parts of you that you cannot change, no matter how hard you try. You were born white, black, brown, whatever. You have certain medical conditions or preconditions. Additionally, you probably have one of four humors: melancholic, choleric, sanguine, or phlegmatic. You can see this even in babies. What is your humor, your natural inclination?
Your upbringing has an impact on your being as well, no doubt. If you were raised by druggies in a slum, you may have a different life than if you were raised by millionaires in the Hamptons. There are also other factors. Were you spoiled as a child? Did your parents punish you severely? Was money (or the lack thereof) an issue in your home? How did your upbringing shape you?
I’m big on personality. If you haven’t yet, go over to 16Personalities.com and take the test. you may be surprised at the accuracy of the results. Sure, there are bound to be some variations since you are a unique individual, but the bones are there. Also, your personality may change as you grow and develop; it’s not concrete.
Your past and current behavior determine your condition. Your behavior can be broken down into your good decisions and bad decisions which, in turn, yield good or bad habits. Your good habits yield “blessings” while your bad habits yield “curses.”
The biggest challenge we face with consistent behavior is our “work self” and our “real self.” You have certain protocols at work, of course. And you must have a sense of professionalism. Does that feel restraining to you?
If the true you cannot be expressed at your job, then it is a bad fit? For example, imagine a surfer dude going to work at a stuffy bank. What about a 120 lb. nerdy accountant trying to be a walk-on at the NFL Combine?
Those are extreme examples, yet they help you to understand the essence of a person. That essence is the culmination of the above four factors. That said, it’s easy to place too much weight on the behavior category.
Take, for example, a woman who cusses a lot and works as an elementary school teacher. Obviously, it would be bad for such a person to “be herself” and cuss like a sailor in front of young children. In this case, the feeling of being restricted is self-induced. Is the job of an elementary school teacher a bad fit? It surely is if that woman is allowing her behavior to run the show. Yet, behavior is the one factor (of the four) that can be changed. It takes discipline, but it’s possible.
Let’s assume you may have adequate behavior (i.e., you are not a barbarian) and still fill like your job is ill-fitting. The good news is that there are ways to find a better fit. As I recommended a moment ago, 16Personalities.com will give you your work profile which suggests some careers which may be good for you.
You be you
It takes work to truly understand yourself. However, it takes more work to try to be someone you are not. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
The last thing I’ll say is that you were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). You were created with a purpose and for a purpose. Our world has a way of piling clutter on top of you so that you think the clutter is all there is to you. Not true! The true you is inside - a brilliant being of light, ready to shine like the sun and bring warmth, life, and love to the world. That is YOU!