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  • Writer's pictureMatilda Butler

What Does It Mean to Become Yourself?

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Daily Gratitude for Wisdom from Other Women

This is Day 5 of sharing wisdom from other women. The previous four days revealed:

WISDOM 5: “Become Yourself”

Today’s wisdom might seem downright silly at first. You may be saying, “Of course, I am myself. Who else would I be?” But let’s dig deeper into this wisdom.

But Consider This...

Women are faced with many external demands throughout our lives. When young, we want to please parents and then teachers. Later we want to please boyfriends, husbands, life partners, children, friends, even co-workers and bosses. While trying to navigate in an overcrowded landscape of expectations, it is difficult to figure out who you are separate from the expectations and needs of others. Learning who you are and fully becoming that person is one of the joys of aging (and, dare I say, growing up). Embrace it.

One Woman's Advice

When I asked one woman to use her experiences to give advice to younger women, she paused to think then responded in a soft voice:

“I just had a visual answer. I may start crying. This brings up so many emotions. I see this flower, like a rose or a lotus, opening up. When you are younger, you’re trying to control the flower and trying to keep it from opening up too far. As you age, you can just let go and let that flower blossom. Let it open up wide. You should embrace everything life has in every way that you can. With age, you should find you are at a place where you have the wisdom and the experience to let yourself be you. That’s the greatest gift you can have. Be yourself. Now is the time to put yourself first. Let go of all those fears that are holding you back and fully blossom.”

Wherever You Go, There You Are

In my interview with another woman, she shared with me what she considered a major insight from her life. Her father was in the military, so her family moved frequently. This meant new schools and new friends. She always had great expectations at the beginning of each move. She’d dress better. Be more careful of friendships. Work harder in school. Get better grades. Well, you get the point.

Reflecting back on those many moves, she realized that she never did start over successfully. She didn’t become a different person overnight. She still was the same person.

Hence her realization that wherever she went, there she was. So instead of a radical change, she instead worked to make incremental changes to become, over time, more like the person she wanted to be.

Be Your Best Self

And this brings me to the last of the points about becoming yourself. Even if you “like” the person you are — even if you feel you’re achieving your goals — even if you are satisfied with your current self, you can still explore if you are the best version of yourself.

There are multiple ways to do this. Nothing should be extravagant or should be undertaken to diminish yourself. There is no need for overnight changes. Instead, you might examine your strengths and see if they could be optimized or improved. You might want to consider a better focus on your life or a better way of doing what you are already doing. You might want to reach out to others — either to encourage them along their life path or to seek their wisdom to enhance your own life.

Takeaway Inspiration

Wherever you are on your life journey, pay attention to being your own self

-- your best self.


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