For many years I put on a great show for the people in my life. Who I was at the moment depended on who was in front of me at that time. I was a chameleon.
To be honest with you, there wasn’t much that I liked about myself. So I was certain that if you knew the “real me”, you wouldn’t like me either. My need for acceptance and love would kick in and I became whoever you needed me to be. Actually, whoever I thought you’d like.
It was mentally exhausting, and being that way encouraged an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. I desperately sought to achieve happiness, but the end result was usually misery. On the outside I was smiling, however on the inside I wasn’t happy at all. I was a walking contradiction.
Have you ever experienced this, or something similar to this?
Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin, or behaved in a way that was out of character for you in order to seek the approval, acceptance, even love of others? If so, this article can be very useful to you.
First of all, this has nothing to do with the people in your life, and everything to do with you. This is incredible news, since the only person you can change in this world is you. A very good starting point for change, in this area of your life, is to do a personal inventory of your character. Here’s a list of character defects and assets that may be helpful. Be open-minded and completely honest with yourself while making this list. Close-mindedness and dishonesty will only hinder the process of change.
After identifying what you believe is your true character, the second step is to decide what it is exactly you would like to change about it. Be specific. And remember, change is limitless. The possibilities are endless. You can do anything you choose to do.
And last, but certainly not least, the final step is to take action. Your character won’t simply correct itself. You must be open to suggestion, willing to do the footwork, and practice. Any persistent practice will undoubtedly create habit. The goal is to be in the habit of quality character.
What does “quality character” look like to you? This will be something that you individualize. What type of person would you like to be? Choose to be that person. Don’t become discouraged when you fall short. You’re human, we all fall short and make mistakes from time to time. Some more frequently than others.
The point is to learn from your mistakes in order to do better next time, if even just a little bit. Holding yourself accountable is a constructive tool. However, being too critical, or hard on yourself can be counterproductive. Self criticism can very easily become a web of negativity. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in that web.
Once you have achieved a quality of character that you are comfortable with, you will ultimately feel comfortable with sharing every aspect of your character with others. You will attain a strong sense of pride, and grow to love the person that you are, as well as the person that you are becoming. The quality of your relationships will begin to improve and you will be comfortable in your own skin. You can achieve inner peace and true happiness by applying these positive tools of change to your life. I know this to be true because I did it. I am a walking example of this truth.
You too can have your “inside” match your “outside”. There will be a smile on your face. But more importantly, you will be smiling from within.
Photo by tash:)