You never know your elevator pitch more clearly and concisely than when a customs officer interrogates you.
"What exactly is your work in America, Susan?"
"Well, I'm a confidence coach. I lead online programs helping people start side hustles and become comfortably more visible in their business. I'm also an author and columnist, preaching the transformative power of self-love. Because without it, you're pretty much doomed." (Smiley face).
The poor guy stamped my passport, a bit confused. I was coming back to New York from England, and in a rare moment of fatigued truth-telling, I just couldn't dumb it down like I usually do, saying, "I have an online business," or "I'm a writer." Nope, this time, I spoke the truth. And he got me outta his hair, rapidly approving my entry and nodding for me to leave.
It felt like a mini victory.
It feels good to just be yourself sometimes, however silly or inappropriate… so why do we feel such pressure to blend in?
Here's why it's A-OK—and important!—to be you:
There is, and only ever will be, one you.
Think about your face. Your fingerprints. No one else in the world has the same ones. When you were made, the mold dissolved. So when your sweet little life is gone, over, finito … that's it. Dust.
I can think of nothing more tragic than living a subdued, second-guessed half-life. Because there IS no second chance. Death is totally final. So to live, fully you is your only real obligation. Isn't it?
Your most unique features are probably your best.
When I saw a therapist a couple of years ago, I shared with him my fear about "being myself" online. That means just talking, sharing, and goofing around, the way I do with my friends in my videos, columns, and my weekly confidence injections that I send to my community by email. He said to me, "Do you think Beyoncé or Lady Gaga became Beyoncé and Lady Gaga by toning it down?"
What a question! What are you not letting the world see because it's different, a bit disruptive, provocative, against the grain?
What makes you stand out makes you powerful.
I love how Dita Von Teese is known for her burlesque moves and style. Stars like Lizzo and Ashley Graham make the front pages of magazines because they're advocates for self-love and size representation.
We love them because they love themselves. They are proud of their gifts and are courageous enough to share them with the world. Being yourself allows your art to flow and fill your life's canvas beautifully and naturally.
You inspire others too.
Think about your role models. Whether they're athletes, TV personalities, or authors, I bet they ain't like anybody else. That why they stood out to you in the first place; whatever it is that you admire about them stands out. It's important to show who you are too—the world needs your vibrancy. Interested in being seen more for who you are? You can check out my free training here.
Ask yourself—who might you be if you didn't care what anyone else thought or said? Who would you become? How would that feel? Close your eyes and picture it fully. That's who you really are—and it's perfect.
Susie Moore is Greatist's life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!