Is it Time for You to be You?
Life in the Clone Zone
As harsh as it might sound, some people simply don’t think for themselves. Not when it comes to the big issues, anyway. And I should know; I have been talking with such people for the last thirty years. For a range of reasons, some of us have become a slightly different-looking version of someone else. Sure, we might be a little taller or smaller, fatter or skinnier, older or younger but beneath the physical facade, we’re essentially a clone. Well, kind of. Over time, we have become a version of our parents. Our partner. Our older brother. Sister. Boss. A respected colleague or friend. Or maybe, our guru. And while it’s healthy to respect other people, it’s not healthy to become them.
How can you be you, when you’re trying to be someone else?
Consciously or not, some of us have adopted the thinking, habits, standards, beliefs and communication style of someone else. And, in many instances, we’ve also adopted their limitations, prejudices, fears and dysfunction. And while this imitation and compliance is not particularly desirable or healthy, it is very understandable. At our core, many of us are people pleasers. We love to fit in. We hate to ruffle feathers, to rock the boat or to get noses out of joint.
*At this time, feel free to throw in any people-pleasing metaphor of your own. Or, is it someone else’s? 😉
Compromise is a healthy and necessary part of life, but only to the point where we begin to lose ourselves. As I’ve said before, it’s nice to be nice but it’s not nice to be a doormat.
I’m always fascinated with our collective obsession with fame and our desire to be like the famous.
Consider the irony of the Lady Gaga phenomenon (one of my favourite performers, BTW): despite all her well-intended “be yourself” (type) messages, her legion of Little Monsters (as she calls them) tend to walk, talk, dress, sound and act like their hero. That is, they try to be just like her. And while I consider Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta to be a gifted artist, brilliant marketer and possibly, a pretty cool chick, when I stand back and turn down the emotion on the Lady Gaga experience, I might be compelled to conclude that, if anything, her fans want to be more like her and less like them.
Which is not Gaga’s fault, by the way. She’s just being her charismatic, brilliant self. Ironically (yep, more irony), Lady Gaga is not a real person but rather a carefully and brilliantly conceived character brought to life via the creative and commerical genius that is, Stefani Germanotta. Just like one of Australia’s favourite daughters (Dame Edna), who happens to be the creation of a talented bloke named Barry.
A cock in a frock.
Yes folks, you can learn from, be inspired by and have respect for other people, but the only person you can ever be, is you. Trying to be a version of’someone else is a recipe for under-achievement, frustration, disempowerment and ultimately, misery.
Becoming a better version of you is not about trying to be someone else.