Happy being you

It’s so easy to look around and to feel like you are the only one that doesn’t get it. You see those people who seem to have it all – they are popular, confident and funny – it is only natural to be left thinking “what am I doing wrong?!

The fact is even those people who come across as if they have all the answers feel the same and are just as insecure underneath it all.

What’s more, it is natural to feel different (you are! And that’s not a bad thing!), or like you don’t quite fit in. Everyone feels a bit lost, confused and out of their depth from time to time. This is all part of trying to find your way in the world. Remember you don’t have to have all the answers…

Often we spend so much time trying to fit in or worrying what other people might think about us, it is easy to fall into the trap of going along with the crowd regardless of whether it might be what we want or the right thing to do.

Remember you don’t have to put on an act or show off to be liked… you just have to be you. If you have to put on an act or play up to try and fit in with those around you, you are hanging out with the wrong sort of people. Instead, surround yourself with friends you can relax and just be yourself around – people who let you be you and appreciate you because of who you are and not because of what you can do for them. I promise it will make life much easier and make you far happier.

Instead of spending so much time worrying what other people think – ask yourself: What do you think? How do you feel about stuff? Have a voice and use it.

Don’t panic if you don’t have a dream or a grand plan of where you want to go or who you want to be. On all the TV shows, there are always people talking about how they have always dream of being something big and important and have focused on it their whole lives; while that might be admirable, you also run the risk of wishing your life away and missing out on great opportunities because you are focusing so far in the future. Focus on now and make the most of it.

The future will come whether you are ready for it or not.

Realise how lucky you are and the opportunities you have… Yes, sometimes it can feel like we have been dealt a bit of a bum hand, and life can feel very unfair sometimes. Understand that things will go wrong and crap things will happen. But this does not mean you should give up or feel sorry for yourself.

As the late, great Maya Angelou said:

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.’

Try not to blame the people around you when things go wrong – being angry will not change anything. Instead of blaming everyone else, think about what you could have done differently. But this doesn’t mean that you have to blame yourself either. It is not your job to take responsibility for everything that has gone wrong in your life – it is a waste of energy. Pick yourself up, and move on – there is nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you learn from them. Instead of worrying about what you don’t have or what isn’t working look at what you do have and the people that are there to support you. Realise that you are still lucky!

No one is happy all of the time and it is ok to feel down. Keep busy and try to make the people around you happy and with any luck some of it will rub off on you.

Get to know yourself – appreciate the good stuff and realise that you are pretty cool. What you’ll find is that if you start liking you – and learn to be comfortable in your own skin then the people around you will start to treat you differently. We all like and admire confident people – But confidence doesn’t come from having all the answers, it comes from realising it is OK not to know everything…

Remember, You can do anything… you are you.

© Going off the Rails 2014. Adapted from ‘Playing Downstairs’ by Jonny Hunt

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