When asked what was the best advice she was ever given, Jennie said, “Be yourself. My mom and dad used to say that all the time and I still hear the voices saying that. It didn’t seem like a good answer when I was younger and I think I spent many years fighting being myself. I wanted to actually be anybody but me for a very long time, and you know now – I mean, you don’t have a choice right? You have to be yourself. But to be yourself and be really good with that and really love being yourself – you know, embracing that… I mean, be yourself is two words but the meaning is just a lifetime of that journey of being yourself and hating it and then having no choice but to be yourself and learning to love it. So it’s the best advice – just two words, so powerful!”
This seems to be the journey of so many intense and/or gifted women! Even when our parents accept us for who we are, we are told by the world that we just don’t quite fit so we often try to shift into a mold that isn’t well suited to us. This is why it warms our hearts when we see older women who are unapolagetically free to express themselves as they wish.
But why wait until you are older to be yourself?
In a previous interview with Leela Sinha, she said, “if you, quote, toned it down and found yourself a place where you sort of fit, as your toned down self – the odds are as you approach 40, you’re going to get sick of it and you’re going to bust out of that box and everything that you thought you built is going to come crashing down around your ears and your gonna have to start over. So, the less time you spend building yourself into a false reality, the better off you are.”
I think some of us get way past 40, but I agree with her sentiment that the sooner you get comfortable in your own skin the better.
This is not to say that we do whatever we want without empathy or good communication, but that we look at the internal motivation for our choices. Doing things simply for approval or to “fit in,” will certainly become draining, while doing things that are motivated by joy and deep interest will energize us.
So think about what parts of yourself you feel like you might be holding back and how you might express that part of yourself in a way that feels good for you. Who knows, you might find connections with others when they get a glimpse of things they might be holding back in themselves.
To help you explore your own unique gifts, I created a free Find Your Superpower Course to help you: Identify your individual areas of excitability with an excitability checklist; Customize the name of your own unique superpower; & Explore how you can harness your own power instead of suppressing it or letting it get out of control.