I know a lot of incredibly intelligent writers. Spending time around them is both fun and educational, but sometimes it makes me realize just how flawed I really am.
Many of them are measured, ten times smarter, much more humble, and loads more selfless than me.
I mean, I still retaliate to negative comments on LinkedIn. I have an incredible amount of pride. I am exceedingly self-conscious and when I’m tired I start spouting off sarcastic comments about everything that’s bugging me currently.
In summary, I act like a 12-year-old a lot.
And here I am, someone that has some sort of authority online, as imperfect as they come. I realized something today, though.
I’ve tried to lower the volume on my imperfections recently, but sometimes it’s impossible for them not to show. While I’ve since viewed this as un-ideal, I think I need to start embracing my inner 12-year-old a little more. You should, too.
It Is Who You Are, After All
I have too much of my Father in me. He gets angry in traffic. He calls slow drivers idiots when passing them in traffic. You can’t tell him he’s wrong about anything.
I’m literally just like him.
I’ll never be known for being “measured.” I’ll never be known for being brilliant. I’ll never be known for being the super outgoing life of the party.
I can work to improve those aspects of me, but, well, why try so hard?
I mean, Conor McGregor is never going to be known for being a quiet, courteous person. He’s going to be known as the boisterous man who talked a lot of smack and put on a great show.
Yes, he could rein in the cursing, show more self-control, and generally be nicer sometimes in the name of personal development, but… why?
People love him and hate him. People will always love him and hate him. And whether he changes or not isn’t going to make much of a difference either way.
He’s made his millions by being himself. There’s always going to be people that hate you either way. My thinking is, it’s better to have people hate you while you’re being yourself.
I could spend decades of my life punishing myself, wishing to have more composure, or I could accept who I am in these moments of failure. Just as I have some sort of ability to connect with people with my writing, sometimes I don’t have the ability for other things — like being super measured.
Now, there’s a balance to strike, though.
Nobody Likes Someone Who Never Improves
I have a weird theory about personal development.
To me, personal development does not mean totally extinguishing your bad traits. To me, it means gradually turning down the volume on them until they’re much less pronounced.
I don’t believe you can totally beat who you are.
For instance, my Dad still gets angry in traffic today, but you should’ve seen him 10 years ago. My goodness, it was like the guy was always pissed off.
Now he’s gotten much better, and I respect him for that.
So when I’m saying to embrace your inner 12-year-old, I’m not giving you permission to curse out the guy in front of you who’s going 20 miles under the speed limit. What I’m actually saying is that when a mishap does happen, forgive yourself.
Stop punishing yourself so much, own who you are.
Maybe you have a problem with traffic jams. Maybe you have a problem with negative comments online. Whatever it is, work to improve, but embrace yourself a little more — even laugh.
It gives your personality some flavor.
You Do Not Need To Be The Best
I want to be more measured. I want to be smarter. I want to wake up at 5 AM and eat a healthy breakfast instead of shoving buttered croissants down my throat.
But fuck it, maybe that’s just not who I am.
And you know what? I rather enjoy people who speak their mind — it gives their personality a bit of flavor. I enjoy the ones who stick out in the crowd as much as I admire the ones who can respond to negativity with grace.
My style of writing in the past has been very “warts-and-all,” brash, sometimes off the rails. That’s me.
I’ve tested different writing styles, tried to tone it back, and it’s been fun to do so.. but weirdly enough, as I’ve toned myself back a little bit, I’ve seen a little bit less of a response.
You see, you can work to improve yourself while simultaneously embracing who you are. It’s sort of like getting 12 detentions in one semester for laughing too much in class (I expect none of you to be able to relate to this)..
Even though after the first 11 you really tried to shut the heck up, you still got that 12th one. At a certain point you sort of just shrug your shoulders, take the punishment, and understand it’s probably going to happen again soon.
And so what if it does?
So what if you do ruffle a bit of feathers? Is that the end of the world?
Some of my teachers hated me. Some classmates hated me. But the few classmates who were laughing their asses off with me, well, they LOVED me.
And you can’t inspire love without embracing who you are. Otherwise, you’d just be acting how you think you should be acting, and that’s not sincere.
Your goal in life shouldn’t be to make everybody love you — it should be to be yourself, constantly improve, and laugh when you fall short.
Spend more time accepting yourself and less time beating yourself up for falling short.
That’s my advice.
Don't miss a single word. Get Publishous Magazine delivered directly to your inbox each week for FREE!
Please complete the form below and you will receive the next episode directly to the email address you provide.