This Year, Be You
At the start of every New Year we see a flurry of activity touting self-help books, pressure to make New Years’ resolutions and long lists of positive affirmations. Our Januaries are filled with marketing ploys that tell us that we need to be better, to seek renewal, to lose weight, to incorporate better habits, and on and on. What is so wrong with us that we need all this personal improvement? Nothing!
I have always been a bit skeptical of self-help books. I have read many and gleaned enough decent information to understand how to be a better worker, friend, mother, spouse. Ugh, it’s overwhelming and I’m here to tell you that you already know the secret to a good life. You already have what it takes inside you. You already know what only you truly need. Stop seeking and start listening to yourself. You need to just be you. There is not a one-size-fits-all process to anything. What makes this world we live in great is the fact that there is diversity. As you have surely heard before, “There’s only one you!” What works for me will not work for you because we are not the same person. Our relationships and workplaces are different and how we each approach life is not the same.
Rather than incorporate a resolution I will not keep, I chose a theme for my 2019. One word for by which I will live all year and do my best to weave into every interaction, transaction, and touchpoint. It’s a word that I need to just be me: Authenticity. It is simple yet powerful and we do not see enough of it in our world. I wasted a lot of time and energy saying and doing things I thought would endear me to others or help get me a promotion. I played workplace politics and put my nose in business that was not mine because I thought that is what I needed to do to give me an edge.
Upon using what I learned from self-help books, nothing changed except the fact that I realized I should read fewer self-help books. The advice I followed always diluted my authentic self. This may sound familiar with many of you and my hope is that you read this and know you do not have to do, say or be someone whom you are not to live a great life. You can choose to read and follow that helpful advice or not and you will be just fine. Regardless, you will always be that unique person you were born to be. Listen to yourself and just be you.