Ever noticed how for every motivation or inspiration quote, there is another one that contradicts it? And both of the them seem right?
Example A: “Treat people how you would want to be treated.” Yep, makes sense. We’ve been hearing that one for ages. And then there’s times when you “shouldn’t give time and energy to people who aren’t worth it.”
Example B: “Be yourself.” Seems legit. And overused. I honestly think a lot of people like to say that they live by this rule. I am one of them. But when I really think about it, maybe I’m not as true to myself as much as I think I am. Sure, I usually make decisions initially on what I think. I choose what I want to eat, what I want to wear, what I want to do with my time. But sometimes people critique those decisions. Someone might offer some fashion help for an outfit I chose. Or my mom might remind me that I should be studying for a test rather than going out with friends on a busy weekend. My initial decisions change, and usually for the better. Had I not listened to other people’s advice, I might have bomb a test, or walked out the door looking like a New York Fashion Week experiment gone wrong.
I think being yourself is great. The ability to make decisions based on your own needs and wants is what a lot of humans strive for. But it’s also important to take a step back and let some people influence us.
Which opens another jar of unknowns. Which people? A lot of people have opinions about you, but only some of them have your best interest in mind. And I guess it all comes back to your decision again. You should be yourself, and trust yourself to trust the right people’s advice. For me, I learned that by trial and error, and a lot of trust. My family will give me their opinion, whether I wanted it or not, because they want me to be the best I can be. An internet troll? Not so much.
So be yourself and know that your identity is shaped by those around you. For the most part, you have control over those who shape you.