Be the Hero in Your Life
I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I did not have a hero per se. Sure, I had folks I admired and looked up to, but no one I wanted to be like. Growing up in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, my friends had heroes such as Hank Aaron, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lynn Swann and Billie Jean King.
Sometime in my early 20s, I came to the conclusion that I felt as if I did not have a hero. When people asked the question, “Who’s your hero?” I had no answer. Then I realized one day that it was alright that I did not have a hero. I would be my own hero.
In deciding that I could be my own hero, I understood that I was not going to be another Nadia Comăneci or Bruce Springsteen. I was me. I had my own life to live and my own path to forge. This gave me a lot of confidence that I could create a person I would be proud of not only at the end of my life, but also at the end of every day.
As I go through life, there are days when I clearly remember that I am my own hero — and there are many days when I forget this very tenet. I think there have been times in my life when I have taken on the role of a victim. Am I alone here? Or are there others of you out there who occasionally give your power away? We let the people who surround us write our story, and we simply play a part that was written by someone else. Think about it: we make choices based on what we think others want from us. This affects the way we dress, the careers we choose, how much we drink, and what hobbies we engage in. Humans have an innate need for love and belonging. We want to be noticed. We want to fit in.
I think we all are guilty, including me, of wanting someone else’s approval, of wanting to fit in. The bottom line is that there is a huge price to pay when we allow others to write our life story. We lose an enormous chunk of our identity. We try to fit into what their expectations of us are, and we try to become their vision of us. When we do this, we lose sight of ourselves. We lose our connection to our essential selves. And just think how exhausting it is to try to please others constantly! We take ourselves out of the leading role in our own lives. We play a supporting role in our own lives and wonder why we are unhappy. In Iris’s words in the movie The Holiday, “You’re supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God’s sake!”
How many times have you heard the story of people who go into careers because that was the career parents or others encouraged them to pursue? I have known people who have become doctors when their heart’s desire was to be a baker. I have a dear friend who went to law school because his father was a lawyer and he was going to join the family practice. This was a perfect strategy — except that he was bored with law school and found himself to be miserable. It took a lot of soul searching for my friend to discover his dreams and life purpose. During this time of discovery between dropping out of law school and his next step, he discovered — and it became clear to both of us — how many people want to be someone other than who they are. Then they are disappointed somewhere along the road because, in fact, they are not that person and may have different interests, talents and passions from the person they have emulated.
Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” A truer sentiment has never been spoken. It’s alright to admire and to appreciate others and what they bring to the table. However, only you can be you. If you try to be anyone other than yourself, you will be an imposter.
So, get out there and be yourself! Discover yourself and the things that make you … you.
Share here if you have ever tried to fit in and how that felt.
What is one trait that makes you absolutely unique?
Well, the first thing I want to share is that I am going to be facilitating another book club come January 2014! I am really excited about this book club. It will be on Brené Brown’s most recent book, Daring Greatly. I have finished the curriculum and am getting ready to roll out the club. This will be an in-person club, and coaching will be involved. Plus, this book club will include a one-on-one session with me, allowing you to take your work deeper.
Check out the flyer here! If interested, e-mail me to register.
Also, I feel strongly about sharing information about Malala Yousafzai. I had the great opportunity to watch this young lady twice in one week on TV. She is truly inspirational. In case you are unaware of her, she is the young lady who stood up for girls receiving education in Pakistan and was shot by the Taliban. I saw her on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in which she was too adorable and yet so strong and insightful, and then I saw an entire special on her on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer. With British journalist Christina Lamb, Yousafzai co-wrote a book called, I Am Malala. I urge you all to learn more about this phenomenal young lady by reading her book.
I am also sharing the website for the fund that Yousafzai has created. Join me in supporting her to empower girls everywhere to get an education!
Staying true to the theme of this e-newsletter, I would like to share the video of Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show. Check her out! She is absolutely amazing! She could be a great hero for anyone!
Until next time,
Safe Space Life Coaching