Let the World See Who You Are
Who are you? Do you know? And are you comfortable with it? This question has been on my mind lately. In part because of a book I'm reading (more on this later) and because during a presentation, a photographer I admire said something along the lines of 'be who you are and be awesome at it". It got me thinking if I was really being myself (both online and off) and it triggered a whole plan for this blog.
"In a world of comparison and conformity, make your own statement. Honor your own truth. Have the courage to be yourself; risk speaking your own thoughts and claiming your emotions. Share your vulnerabilities, tears, doubts, and insecurities; let others experience the real you. Have the courage to be yourself and realize that you are a wonderful person."
-- Author Unknown
You can define yourself in terms of what you do, but that's not who you are. That's what you do. I could tell you that I'm a marketer, a photographer, a dog mom. None of that defines who I really am. I think one key is that it's not a super-short answer. You don't just put it into a word or two. Of course when it comes to marketing yourself you might need to, but that's a whole other blog post.
When you know who you are and you are comfortable with it things get a lot easier. It's taken me a while but I have figured out who I am and what matters to me in life. I've also managed to get to the point where I no longer apologize for it or try to be someone else to be accepted. The best thing about being true to who you are is that what you create becomes you-nique (see what I did there?). I see a lot of people worry about creating something new, something that hasn't been done before. There's only one "you" so when you put your spin on what you create it's automatically new.
So if you're a vegan hippie artist, be that. If you're sarcastic, just want to tell fart jokes and not share deep thoughts, do that. If you're obsessed with fashion, or animals, or travel or politics, then share that. Express your feelings instead of masking them under a coat of what is considered appropriate. Online, in your art on your blog or in person, being you gives you freedom and makes everything you create more interesting. Otherwise it's just a list of Seven Ways to blah, blah, blah.
And by the way, that book I'm reading is Will The Real You Please Stand Up by Kim Garst. More on this topic and my thoughts on the book in an upcoming post.