Don’t Be a Sheep in the Flock: Your Uniqueness Is Your Power
I’m Portuguese, and I’ve been living in England for more than five years. Culturally, we are different people. While, in general, Latino people are more extroverted and speak their minds, English people are contained.
I have to admit, I often struggle with English politeness. Fearing to hurt other’s feelings, English people choose to say what is expected, socially acceptable. Usually, they are lovely and very polite. I always speak my mind, for good and for worse, sometimes with a tone that comes out as harsh. If you ask me a question, be prepared to hear my raw opinion. And I don’t sugarcoat. Why should I?
I could adjust, of course. But I won't. I wouldn’t be honest with myself. I would only be surrender to something I don’t believe in.
I’ve met people I liked, but I had to let go because they couldn't cope with my openness and frontality; the same way I couldn't cope with their restraints. Sometimes I could see in their eyes that they wanted to say something or react differently to me, but they simply wouldn't. It’s not in their nature. As it isn’t in mine to stay around.
If I can’t have an unfiltered relationship — whatever format it is — I choose to withdraw myself from it. I refuse to be a sheep.
On the other hand, by being myself, I know for sure that the people who are in my life accept me as I am, they like my weirdness. That is valuable to me.
Self-knowledge is the most potent weapon you have in your personal artillery. Knowing what moves you, your values and beliefs; your goals (short and long term ones), and what gives you peace of mind, is power.
You should always hold tight to it. Never let go.
You are who you are. You owe nothing to no one, you must not justify your choices, your actions, or decisions. You own yourself! Yes, you must follow specific rules, society, and common sense tell us so, but that shouldn’t make you act and think like everybody else. You shouldn’t allow yourself to be another sheep in the flock.
The world must adjust to yourself, not the other way around.
I used to get affected by what others thought of me, what my actions would say about me, how I would be judged. Through a lot of inwork, I got to a point where I simply don’t give a fuck. I am who I am, and I will never apologise for it.
When I achieved the (marvelous) sensation of looking at the mirror and admire the person in front of me, I knew I was on the right path. Often, I feel I repress myself when I’m surrounded by people, that I don’t reveal myself; in particular with acquaintances or co-workers. I don’t see it as a negative thing: not everyone should be allowed to know your true self. I offer glimpses of my personality, but I only share myself with those who are significant to me.
Social patterns and values are contagious, they are forced on you since you are born.
You must fit in. You must act and react as everybody does. To dress, to makeup, to shut up or only voice the “appropriate” thoughts. That is the correct thing to do, living in society. So they say. I am part of a society, but I will not metamorphose myself into it. I will not lose myself, no one will interfere with my path.
I am a free woman. I am compliant with legal, social, professional, and relational rules, but I will move within them on my own terms. I own my personality, I’ve built a strong and healthy Self, and I will not abdicate from it, ever. For nothing nor no one.
I will always put myself first. And so should you. No one else will.