On my trips around the internet this the past month, I’ve seen a quite a few programs and services that want to guide you to “becoming who you’re meant to be.”
But you know what? You already are exactly who you’re meant to be. So please don’t let anyone suggest you’re not.
Because there’s a hidden message under this oft-used phrase about becoming who you’re meant to be.
The message is you’re flawed in some way and must strive to be better by becoming someone other than who you already are.
Unfortunately, this sets you up to believe that you’re not enough or that something’s missing in you.
Here’s how it can happen.
Let’s say you go searching for help or personal growth information online. Or maybe you’re just surfing aimlessly here and there.
Then, before long (and it doesn’t take long because it’s everywhere nowadays) you discover lovely soft focus images of beautiful women frolicking with their adorable children. Or maybe even their dogs and horses.
They’re surrounded by lush landscapes and appear to be living in gorgeous, tidy homes.
You can’t help but notice that you, and your life, are quite different from the women and lives portrayed there.
And these women are telling you that they can help you become the woman you’re meant to be.
Your takeaway might very well be that you should be striving for a life more like theirs. Not to mention that you’re not doing a very good job on your own of becoming who you’re meant to be.
While they may not say this outright (some do), it’s not a far leap for your brain to make.
They might even describe for you exactly how they got this stellar life, inevitably telling their story of personal struggle and hardship on their way to amassing scads of money and working less than 20 hours a week.
Who doesn’t want that? It sounds so good, right?
But still, some part of you, perhaps apparent, perhaps beneath the surface, starts questioning whether you’re enough just as you are, and if you should be more like them.
In those moments, it’s wise to remember this: there’s a big difference between becoming who you’re meant to be, and living the life you say you want to live.
When you think you need to work on becoming who you’re meant to be, it can feel like you’re putting on a mask, playing a role, striving to conform in some way.
And certainly, that can be comforting. In fact, you might feel a powerful urge to conform, to cookie cutter yourself into alignment with the current expectations about how women should look, think, act, behave and define success for themselves.
In the long run, though, it probably won’t make you feel any better.
Oh sure, you might be a tiny bit less anxious for a time. But bypassing that anxiety puts you at risk of feeling boxed in, and possibly accepting a way of being in the world that doesn’t really fit who you are at your core.
On the other hand, living the life you say you want to live is about being you, and being real.
- accepting all parts of you, all along the continuum of you.
- acknowledging that the process of making a meaningful life is both exhilarating and challenging.
- making sometimes difficult choices that support your self-worth and honor your deeply important values.
- realizing that you possess tremendous gifts, and they may be buried in the depths of your wounds.
- discovering that you only have to be you, and not anyone else.
And quite often, it’s as much about traveling back in time to recover the essential you as it is about moving forward.
Yes, I get that it might seem easier to just run ahead to the perfect version of life that’s so compellingly portrayed in those soft focus images.
But when you step into yourself and your own real life, more often than not you realize that you don’t have to become anything.
Because truly, you are pretty freaking amazing just as you are. And you’re definitely worth fighting for!
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.
* * * * *
It is my great joy to offer counseling, therapy and life coaching to women, as well as women’s groups and retreats. You can work with me in my Santa Rosa office, as well as by telephone/secure video if you’re outside the area. To schedule a free consultation, click here or call 707-742-9844.