I’m sure that some of you will have heard the following phrase by Raymond Hull:
“He who trims himself to suit everyone, will soon whittle himself away”
Pretty much the only time in my life that I’ve followed the crowd, is when the fire alarms have gone off in the offices that I have been working in.
Deciding to stay true to yourself and to really believe in yourself sometimes takes a lot of courage, so understandably some people take the easier route – they allow their own souls to be directed by another. I have always adopted the position of director of my life, in charge of my own soul.
When anyone really takes charge of their own life, they are more lion than sheep (although my husband often calls me a tiger). I guess the point I’m making is that we are all blessed with the gift of free-thinking. We don’t need to be in competition with anyone, or reference our accomplishments or ambitions against anyone else!
Growing up in the 70’s as one of 8 siblings, I discovered at a young age that I was distinctly different. Well initially I didn’t, my Dad did. I’d be the one to immediately and automatically speak the truth. Like the day Dad took us to watch a cricket match in Spikes Bridge Park. Afterwards, when my Dad asked if we’d all had fun and enjoyed the cricket, I was the only one who thought it was uneventful and boring – and I said so!
So started the journey of me being a ‘difficult’ child, with all my siblings generally happy to please Mum and Dad. I simply couldn’t help myself and used to say exactly what I thought. This usually led to one of a wide range of subtly differentiated looks of disappointment from my parents.
Daring to be the ‘true you’ can often be misinterpreted. Much of the time you can be made to feel like the outsider and talked about when you’re out of earshot.
Fitting in just doesn’t work for me. I tend to naturally think outside the box and I’m not afraid to voice an opinion which differs to the consensus. Sitting on the fence has always been completely unnatural.
I’m proud of this character trait and I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who accept the real me. In the past, when I have spoken from the heart, some people have said unkind things about me. I’ve learned not to give them any time. I think that currently there is a groundswell towards most of us avoiding mood-hoovers and people who habitually practice negativity.
My Dad had an interesting saying. He’d say “you can’t clap with one hand” – i.e. there are always two sides to a story. One of the elements of this principle was that if you choose to automatically align with one popular view or perspective, then more fool you.
Here’s to the gift of free-thinking.