As much as it pains me to admit it, I’d genuinely say that up until my early-to-mid 20s, apart of me was not who I really should have been. I wouldn’t say I was living a lie but I would go as far as saying that although I didn’t care what people thought on the surface, an aspect of me did care deep down. I prided myself on having the degree, I spoke about accomplishments I had achieved, that, on the grand scheme of things, really weren’t of much significance when I reflect back. I had this idea that making a buck was all that mattered and that it would bring me true happiness and freedom. 

Fast forward nearly a decade, two kids and a wife later, a few humble years of experience under my belt in the working world and a tonne more responsibilities, I’ve learned a little more. Certainly I’m aware I’ve got a lot more to learn and more experience to gain only being in my early 30s now but I’ve come a long way since I tried to make a mark in the world at the baby age of 22.

I care less more now about wearing the shirt that makes me feel or look a little more well off than I was at the time and now moreso enjoy feeling comfortable in my hoodie and jeans knowing I’ve earned my dues as a hard working dad, really putting in the hours for myself and my family. I respect patience a heck of a lot more and realise that being 30 is still just as young as 20 and life has many more lessons and experiences ahead for me. As they probably do you if you’re reading this. 

One of the benefits to flipping the way I look at life and moreso myself compared to a decade ago is that I’m more open to opportunity. People respect honesty and integrity in this world. I’ve been able to build relationships with professionals and friends alike that have been both mutually beneficial and rewarding, not just a little financially but also when it comes down to reputation. People easily forget the good you did yesterday when you’ve only done good a handful of times. But do good often, genuinely from the source of who you really are, when you’re comfortable with your true self, and things seem to work out a little better. 

I guess in this post I’m trying to encourage you to be yourself, and love yourself for who you are. Cliché, I know. But really, go back and read the words a little closely, and read in between the lines. As often as we’ve heard the phrase encouraging you to be yourself and to love yourself for who you are, it carries a certain truth. 

Be you. Do you. Invest in you. And chase what calls you. I speak only from a little experience but none-the-less experience that in some respects costs me dearly. And if you haven’t found out what that is yet, then do what makes you happy while you’re busy being your true self and I’ve got a feeling you’ll end up closer to the place you hope to be at. 

Ivan. 

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3 thoughts on “The Importance of Being the Real Version of Yourself

  1. I love this! I used to be apart of the Christian community. I still believe in God and the Bible, however I would say my faith is one where I am trying to understand, not where I feel like everyone should be like me. I’m still unsure of so much. Anyway when I went to church–which was up until 2 years ago so basically 37 years of my life had been apart of the church. I was defined by it. And when I left, I didn’t know who I was anymore. That’s why I got into art. I had basically lost myself. Which sounds ridiculous right? But when you grow up being told your bad, awful, a heathen if you don’t attend church–it makes more sense. Anyway, little by little I’m becoming more of who I want to be.

    In the church, women were treated less than men so it was awakening for me to realize I had talents and a voice outside of being a good mother and wife. Those things are important but I matter too. And art has become my saving grace. And the cool thing is–I’m realizing that God gave me those gifts. So it isn’t something that pushes my faith aside but broadens it. The church squashed my gifts and leaving helped me get it back. Who I am is drastically different. I no longer care what corrupt systems think of me but I’m free to figure out who God made me to be without their lies in my ear.

    So I agree! Be your authentic, true self and watch what happens.

    1. What an amazing comment Elle. So full of truth and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing. It’s very easy for systems and people to try to keep others living a certain way as it often validates the system itself. But with that can come costs. It’s so wonderful you managed to find something that gives you light and allows you to explore yourself and your gifts. Power to you! Once you develop that level of strength, you can go anyway and allow your true colours to shine and others around you won’t be able to mould you to their preferred way. Keep doing what you love. Thank you so much again for sharing your comments. Adds great value here. Ivan.

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