Find Yourself…and Stick with It

4 Leaf Clover

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
— Lao-Tzu

It sounds so simple. Be yourself. Yet this might be one of the most difficult tasks we ever attempt. I remember a quote from my childhood that went along the lines of, “the cause of almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.” Who hasn’t compared themselves to a friend, a relative, or a co-worker? With the advent of Facebook, comparisons are almost completely unavoidable.  Comparisons typically don’t lead to boosts in self-esteem. You can always find ways in which your peers are succeeding in the elements of life where you perceive yourself to be failing.  We have a tendency to focus on our flaws instead of embracing what makes us different or unique. We are all authentic beings and we need to revel in this fact.

The other day my niece was telling me a story about how she and a classmate have decided they are twins because they look so much alike. I told her how lucky she was. How I always wished there was someone who looked like me growing up. But no such luck. My hair was dark and wildly curly and I was swimming in a sea of blondes.

“You’re lucky, P.” I said. “No one looked like me when I was your age. No one had my curly hair.”

She paused and looked out the window. I expected her to update me on Dora the Explorer or Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. Put in a request for a peanut butter and jelly.

“But your curly hair makes you unique. And being unique is pretty great.”

Now if only we could all learn to be as confident and accepting as a 7-year old. We are all unique and that makes us all “pretty great.”

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