Life Coach Magazine

Do You . . .

By Dreamchasa101 @dreamchasa101
Do you . . ."Be who you want to be, not what others want to see." - Unknown

I can honestly say, that for the first time in my life, I'm living life being who I want to be and not by what others want to see.  I struggled with the acceptance of others for the earlier part of my life.  I mean, who doesn't want to be accepted right?  Because if your not accepted, then you're rejected, and no one wants to be rejected right?  It can be hard to be an individual in a world that is constantly trying to conform you into what it wants you to be.  In society, we have what is called a "hidden norm."  If you're not a part of the hidden norm, then you're considered "other".  This is evident in something as simple as a job application.  When it ask for your religious beliefs, if you're not part of the most commonly accepted religions - Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism etc. - then your religious beliefs are considered other.  "Other" is an adjective defined as, "A person or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known about."  So I guess that someone is considered "different" if they aren't part of what is most commonly accepted.   Now I would say that I don't want to get to personal, but this is my "personal" blog so here it goes.  I grew up around predominately white people.  In elementary school, at any given time I could be one of two black people in the entire class.  I also lived in a predominantly white neighborhood.  For years my family was the only black family on our block.  This being said, when I visited my friends or family that lived in black neighborhoods, they accused me of "acting white."  They made fun of the way I dressed, the way I talked and even some of the hobbies I had picked up as a product of my environment.  I would bring my roller blades and skateboard to predominately black neighborhoods and they would look at me and laugh.  I really didn't see what the big deal was.  I had fun rollerblading and skateboarding, and if I talked like a white boy, it may have been because that's what I was around.  

Do you . . .

Everybody wanted to be like Tupac.

After finally growing tired of seeming like the odd ball, I began to make my best attempts to "act black."  I wanted to be able to join in their conversations - seeing all they talked about was rap music and hustling - so I started listening to some Tupac, who appeared to be a cultural icon in the black community at that time.  I bought the "All Eyes On Me" double-tape and played it non stop.  To this day it's my favorite Tupac album.  Although I personally liked the music, I was proactively listening to it for the wrong reasons.  I was only listening to it to be accepted by my black peers, and this began my first attempt at conforming to what I thought others wanted to see from me.  If figured that if I listened to what they were listening to, I could talk about what they talked about, and therefore become more of the person that they wanted to see from me.  
Do you . . .
Do you . . .
I began to open my eyes some more when I was in high school.  It seemed like most of us were still searching for an identity but I think our school uniforms made it all the bit harder for us to classify ourselves as individuals.  Some of the people I hung out with liked to talk down about others.  They talked about this one guy in particular, who actually seemed pretty cool from the outside looking in.  He seemed to mind his own business, got good grades, was well-kept, appeared to keep good company and was passionate about his extracurricular activities.  My inner-circle told me not to talk to him because he was gay, which would classify him as other.  So I went years having class with him, and never speaking to him.  I don't remember when, but toward my senior year me and him finally spoke and like I had guessed, he was actually pretty cool.  One thing I noticed about him was that he didn't talk down on other people, like the people in my inner circle did toward him.  

I don't know if this guy was gay or not, and I didn't care because he treated me with respect, and I learned a great deal from him in a short period of time.  I had learned more from him in a couple of weeks, than I ever learned from my "boys" in years.  I realized that my boys were not individuals; they were followers.  They bought every piece of clothing and jewelry that would make them appear to be part of the "in" crowd.  They weren't passionate about anything and there was nothing that set them apart from the majority.  They would sit back and talk about people, and the people they would talk about wouldn't even be thinking about them.  Because the people they were talking about were comfortable with who they were.  They didn't care what others thought about them because they were being who they wanted to be and not what others wanted to see.  
Do you . . .
Some of my top influences are people who are comfortable with who they are.  I've always admired Charles Barkley's outspokenness.  I remember when Steve Nash got his second M.V.P award and Barkley said, "I said it once and I'll say it again, that's a bad-ass white boy."  I couldn't believe he had just openly used Nash's race - in a predominately African-American sport - on a national broadcast like Sportscenter.  I was watching Barkley a couple of weeks ago on a special edition of the Dream Team and he said at one point in his life he decided that he was going to do what he wanted to do and say what he wanted to say.  He said some people will like it, and some wont.  And this is my reason for admiring this character trait in Charles Barkley.  He doesn't live his life by what others want to see.  He lives is life by who he wants to be!  
Do you . . .
Another one of my top influences is Mike Tyson.  Although he has often been the topic of controversy, in a press conference, Tyson said, "I'm going to make sure your children and grandchildren remember me.  They're going to look back and say, wasn't that a bizarre individual."  The key word here is individual.  Those are the people we have remembered throughout history.  People who have done things that have never been done.  People who have said things that have never been said.  Not people who have conformed to what society says is normal and accepted.  
Do you . . .
Not to get religious, but I remember my pastor saying that "you are the only unique you."  Meaning God has blessed you with a set of gifts that only you possess.  Many people just don't realize what their gifts are, therefore they may conform to what the majority is doing - somewhat blending in with the crowd.  Individuals don't have to blend in with the crowd because they know what their gifts are, and they realize that this is another character trait that contributes to their individuality.  Some equate being who you want to be with being successful.  Arnold Schwarzenegger says the first rule of success is to dig deep within yourself and ask yourself who you want to be; not what, but who.  He says that no matter how crazy it may sound to other people, you must figure out for yourself what makes you happy.  He breaks down his "Life's 6 Rules" to success in the following video.  Arnold Schwarzenegger on being who you want to be
Do you . . .
Bill Cosby went so far as to equate a life lived for the pleasure of others, to failure.  He is quoted as saying, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."  
Do you . . .
I think it all boils down to learning how to reject acceptance and accept rejection.  Everyone is not going to like you.  Everyone is not going to agree with you.  It's just a way of life.  But when you are comfortable being who you want to be, eventually these things will not matter to you.  You begin to break ties with the people who don't accept you, which leaves room for the people who love and appreciate you for who you are.  People who may not agree with you on everything, but respect you as an individual.  This is the way I personally choose to live my life, and I can honesty say that for the first time in my life, I have true serenity. Something that money can't buy.  My peace of mind comes from not having to ask someone's permission to live life the way that I choose.  I tapped into my inner-self, found my gifts, discovered what makes me happy, and now I continue to accomplish and get closer to my dreams on an everyday basis.  I am now who God wants me to be.  Man's approval is not requested, required or relevant.  
Corresponding quotes "I don't try to be different, I try to be me but people think it's different." - Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being." - Jackie Robinson"The less you worry about what people think, the less complicated life becomes." - Unknown"Don't tell me I've changed when in reality I've just stopped living life your way." - Unknown


"The biggest challenge in life is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else." - Unknown

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