Here’s a question I recently heard from an 8th grader…. How can you truly be happy with yourself as you are?
Wow, what an amazingly perceptive question. Isn’t that a question that people of any age are asking? If that 8th grader doesn’t find that answer now, he/she will still be wondering in high school and college and in his/her career or family life. Imagine the decisions we make that might be made differently if you were truly comfortable in your own skin, happy and at peace with yourself.
It seems at the root of that question is the belief that we need to be different in some way. Ask yourself, is that true? Can you really know that you would be better off if you were different in that way? How do you feel about yourself when you believe that you need to be different? It is fascinating to me that if you believe that, whether it’s true or not, your mind will find ways to prove it to you. If someone believes they need to be smarter, when they encounter any situation where they do not know an answer that’s the mind’s proof that yes, see, I need to be smarter. And the mind will totally disregard anytime someone tells that person, “good job” or “that was really smart.” It just doesn’t match with what the person believes about themselves so they say, “oh, they’re just saying that to flatter me, they don’t really mean it.” Have you ever thought that when someone complimented you?
Sit with this- I don’t need to be different. Does that feel as true? Make a list of all the reasons you should be exactly the person you are with all your strengths and weaknesses just as they were given to you. Your job is to be you and you are the only one that can do it!
“You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own…” D.M. Dillinger
Brooke Uptagrafft, MD
Dr. Brooke is a family medicine doctor.