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Stop Being What People Want You to Be, and Start Being Who You Really Are!

With an Open Heart

This post is part of  The Awakened Heart Project

Week 8: If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~E.E. Cummings, 1955

Being Who You Are Can Be Hard

In this world of crazy competition and competiveness, it’s often difficult to ignore the pressure. It seems that even in early childhood we’re being pushed to “be better” to “do better” and to be “the best”. We’re graded from A-F, where F literally stands for “failure”. It’s a vast contradiction from the lesson that there are no such things as failures, just learning opportunities. We also have numerous tests to past, and major ones at that, such as the ACT and SAT, which can truly make or break a college experience. When we enter to workforce and “adult life” there’s so much focus on what job you have, where you work, what clothes you wear, what labels you have in your closet, what you know, etc. Social media allows us to share things in different ways as well, but no matter what, whether we like it or not, nowadays, we’re constantly in the public eye and therefore being judge. How difficult. What a lot of pressure that is!!

Sadly, with that pressure, you might start to pretend you’re something other than whom you really are to fit in and fit with the status quo. You want to be accepted by your peers, and you want to feel and seem accomplished. It’s almost like you have an alter ego! On the outside you’re wearing your Superhero face, but inside, you know you’re human.

In an attempt to keep up with this Superhero façade, you try and dress the part upgrading your superhero wardrobe and adding new superhero accomplishments to your superhero resume. You flash it to the world so everyone knows how accomplished you are, and how you’re doing great in this super-powerful role of awesomeness. The only problem is, underneath that flashy, expensive outfit, the real you is there, hidden from the world. You don’t know it, but it’s THIS you that needs to be nurtured and shown to the world, not the facade you. No the “Keep up with the Jones’ you”. If you continue to focus on superhero you, all you’ll ever be, is a facade. All you’ll ever be is hiding. You’ll never get a chance to share your authenticity, your true beauty, your true strength or be noticed for your true accomplishments. One day, it will all catch up with you.

The story of the Eagle

With an Open Heart

A little boy was wandering in the forest and came upon an eagle’s nest. He plucked an egg, brought it back to his farm, and giggling to himself, slid it under a mama-to-be chicken. Soon afterwards, this chicken’s eggs hatched, and there among the chicklets was a female eaglette. This little eaglette grew up with her chicken peers, learning all sorts of chicken habits: how to walk like a chicken, squawk like a chicken, eat like a chicken. This eagle did it all. However, no matter how passionately she put her al into her chicken existence, she always felt something was missing. She didn’t know what, but she felt an inner emptiness. One day she looked up in the sky and saw a beautiful bird, soaring freely among the clouds. She felt this pang of awe mixed with a weird sense of connection. She longed to be up there flying, too. Suddenly, she had this flash of insight. She flapped her wings and to her surprise, took off. That’s when she realized that all along there was more to her than mere chickenhood. She was meant to fly! (Story adapted from “How to be Happy Dammit: A Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Happiness”)

If you’re stuck in this place where outward appearances and “keeping up with the Jones’s” is apart of your life, it’s likely you often relate to this eaglette. We all know this metaphor. You want to sore like an eagle, and believe you are strong and good enough to, but you’re being held back. Held back by fear, by wanting to fit in, by not wanting to fail.  You’re worried that by facing your fears, taking that leap, and making the changes to be who you really are,  will cause some uproar with the other “chickens” in your life. What will they say? Will they judge me? Will I lose them?

But this is what you need to remember….

  • You will never get what you want by being too afraid of what other’s think
  • Those that mind, don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind
  • Nothing new and exciting will ever come your way if you do not take any risks
  • Pretending to be someone you are not will only result in unauthentic relationships and experiences
  • Being authentic is the only way to live the life you’ve always wanted
  • Some people wont love you no matter what you do. Some people wont stop loving you no matter what you do. Go where the love is
  • Sooner or later the façade will catch up with you and you’ll likely lose everything anyway, so why waste time trying to live an imaginary life
  • If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting

Soaring like an eagle requires you to make some changes and go in the direction of your fears. Yes, it will be scary, but why continue to live feeling empty and like something is missing?  There’s no reason. It’s gone on long enough! Start being you!! Take control of your life and start soaring!!

With an Open Heart

“No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Reflection: 

  • Are you an Eagle living in a Chicken world?
  • If you are, what’s holding you back? It’s is fear of failure or fear of rejection? Or perhaps something else?
  • Can you make some minor changes to start out with instead of a huge leap off a cliff if you’re not ready to soar?
  • What will you lose by staying in the chicken world?
  • What will you lose by entering the eagle world?
  • Is your job your dream job? Is it a stepping stone to the direction you want to be in?
  • Is your relationship helping you become an eagle or keeping you a chicken?
  • How important is the opinion of others? Why?

*Many of the ideas for the awakened heart project come from the book “How to Be Happy, Dammit: A Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Happiness” by Karen Salmansohn

Did you find this post inspiring / Thought provoking / Worth reading? Share it with your friends!

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The Awakened Heart Project

Registration for The Awakened Heart Project is closed for the year. However, follow the blog for the opportunity to participate in 2014. With An Open Heart will be going through some major changes in the coming months! Stay tuned!!!

Please fill out the form below to be notified when The Awakened Heart Project will begin again. Thank you.

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