We often choke the life out of people’s personalities. Mostly, in an attempt to make the personalities of other emulate our own or suit what we prefer. This is stripping humanity of its ability to pursue and achieve uniqueness and greatness.
I am guilty of this injustice but not intentionally. Thing is, I’m the type that always strive to be noticeably different in everything I do. Right from how I think, to my pose and poise. While the world sees a strong-willed, passionate, ambitious and confident lady, it remains blind to the countless yet priceless hours I spend researching on and implementing self-development strategies. All the same, I appreciate the the far I have come and the props I get. I have matured into the type that wonders why anyone would settle for mediocrity when they can sacrifice comfort in pursuit of the best version of themselves.
Why settle for a commoner mindset when we-humans- were given dominion over the Earth?
So I end up laying or weighing (you choose!) my go-getter mindset on others quite often. I have now come to the realization that just because I see greatness in someone does not mean that they are interested in ‘seeing’ it too. They’ll probably not be interested in the near future! So lately I’ve been dancing between slowing my roll and letting people be; as far as passing on my go-getter mindset is concerned. And I’m finding so much pleasure in slowing down to understand people or simply letting them be, I tell you!
Somewhere in the midst of jealousy, betrayal, under-appreciation and selfishness, many people have been drained of hope and enthusiasm for many things; ambitions, dreams, true love, loyalty, real friends etc. Consequently, many are peddling defeated mindsets and stuck wearing the I-cannot-do-it glasses. To the ilk, defeat is all that’s there to be seen until manna falls from heaven. But guess what, I believe that the manna has already fallen and it lies in the power of letting people be themselves. I’ll give you a story which I hope will lead you into my line of thought.
Early last year, my mother walked into my room.
“You need to make your bed in a way that is appetizing. A way that attracts sleep! You’ll be a wife soon,” she said after doing one of those neatness patrols mothers specialize in.
Uuurgh. How can I not know how to make a bed? I have been in boarding school since I was ten. That’s how I like my bed. Parents! Always trying to make us be like them, I thought and dismissed her sentiments.
Recently, my man was over at my place and I had to leave for some urgent errand early in the morning. When I came back, there was magic on my bed. No… it was not a naked, handsome man but how it was made. Simple but fancy! My mother’s sentiments from months back replayed in my mind. At that very moment, I understood what she meant. For the first time, my bed seemed like the place I wanted to come home to after a long day of hustle. When I went to visit home a weekend ago, I made the bed as learnt from my man.
“Wow. Okay. Progress, I see. It’ll surely rain pizza today!” Mother said walking past my room.
Just like that I had changed a mannerism I had practiced for years without the change agent having to say a word. He simply let me be but took an opportunity to show me the way. A lot that had been said to me before made sense after the incident. For example, TD Jakes said: Christianity is all about one beggar who found bread then showed another beggar where the bread is.
Get what I’m tryna say here?
When we let people be themselves, they feel appreciated. Enough. Understood. Special. It unlocks potential and desire to scale heights, making it easier to embrace change. However, when we go at people telling them what’s wrong with them all walls shoot up real quick. Even we have been in situations where we had to switch to combat mode to salvage our personality from attack. Speaking of which, you really should read about my switch-to-combat-mode experience during this Tinder date.
Dr. David Shnarch’s bestseller: Intimacy & Desire, led me into a deeper understanding of the power in letting people be themselves. For starters, it’s a form of freedom because no one is trying to control the other. Each party relies on themselves for self-worth and emotional stability. When we get out of the business of transforming other people’s personalities into our definition of acceptable, we give them their lives back. People who can’t control themselves control the people around them.
Are the people in our lives today those we have successfully managed to change into another version of us? It’s time we start licking our own emotional bruises, honey!
I acknowledge that we all need someone who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Question is, are we ready and willing to get rid of the I-cannot-do-it-glasses and see capability…see that we deserve better for and from ourselves? It all starts at one place: Who are you? When we know who we are in the most definite ways then no amount of raging wave can sweep us off course. When we know who we are, we respect everyone’s journey and thus don’t attempt to flip people’s personalities.
Let’s pay attention to ourselves and how we respond to the lives around us. No more murder of the uniqueness planted in each one of us.