Peacock feathers

Be yourself: peacock or penguin?

It’s a strange world we live in. If we are not careful, from the minute we are born, the expectations of others can have such a hold on how we feel and behave, potentially leading to a lifetime of compromise, uncertainty and ultimately unhappiness. Even if we are lucky enough to have parents or mentors whose mantra is ‘be yourself’, it is drowned out by an education system that is too often one-dimensional, a corporate culture that rewards conformity, and a social-media driven society that lays down expectations that are quite simply unrealistic, not to mention undesirable. Surely it’s time for things to change.

I worked for many years in a corporate environment where the route to success lay in doing what was expected. This often meant compromising your values, reigning in your ideas and ‘playing the game’. As someone who was never great at that, I remember clearly how it made me feel. I wasn’t able to be true to myself and I realise now that, as this is one of my core values, this is why I felt so uncomfortable: I was at odds with who I really am. How I wish I had discovered it earlier!

One of my clients kindly forwarded this video which beautifully sums it up:

What I have learnt is that as soon as you stop trying to be what everyone else wants you to be and be yourself, things fall in to place. Abandoning the shakles of judgement in favour of a life that is free and without compromise is exhilarating. You instantly become more authentic, more at ease and more assured. Life is suddenly more straightforward.

I now know for sure is that true happiness comes from acknowledging who you really are and actively committing to be yourself. Happiness is being proud to be a peacock. Being yourself is always, without exception, good enough.

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