From My Bookshelf – Day 12

The people who are the most irresistible are those who are most themselves. It’s not an easy thing to be your true self—all of us feel compelled to live up to certain standards, to achieve a certain level of status, to fit in, or, even better, to be cool. We all suffer from a certain amount (sometimes a great amount) of insecurity. But there is something so charismatic about someone being wholeheartedly and unaffectedly themselves. It’s one of the reasons young children are so charming. 

The inherent appeal in people being themselves holds true even for marginal types or outright bad guys—you may not want them over for dinner or to baby-sit for your children, but you still feel drawn to them in a certain way; often, in fact, you are absolutely mesmerized by them. 

Elizabeth Berg — Escaping Into the Open (pp. 40-41)

Learning to be my true self is a concept I always knew but rarely practiced while younger. I exhausted myself trying to guess what was expected of me and tried to be exactly what others wanted. Eventually, I realized being my true self was more important than being someone inauthentic, yet accepted. I slowly matured to a point where being true to myself trumped whether someone liked me or accepted me.

Something interesting happened, as a result; the number of friends I attempted to maintain drastically reduced and the relationships that stayed grew deeper. I’m not saying I did everything perfect—some people may feel I gave up on the relationship prematurely—but dogmatically being my true self was the catalyst for my own personal growth and development.

Fast forward to today: I don’t feel the need to ever live up to everyone else’s standards. If they like me, great; if they don’t like me, that’s great too. The important thing is I like me. I like the person I have worked long and hard to develop myself into. It’s a long journey, but the destination is worth every detour along the way.

Have a blessed day.

Peace and Love,

~Travis

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