Be YOU, not THEM.

Remember this. Teach it to your kids. Remind your BFF.


When you try to be like them, there is a bit of you that gets lost each time, until you eventually don’t even recognize yourself.


This message is especially important for those little people who raid the pantry, leave towels on the floor, and jack up the Netflix profile in your house. Tell them, they need to know it most.


The other day when I picked the kids up from school. My 6th grader Aryana, proceeded to pout in the backseat of the car. When I asked her what was wrong, she quietly and emotionally expressed that she wished she dressed like the other girls, had hair styles like the other girls, acrylic nails like the other girls, a cell phone/social media, and  make-up like the other girls. I took a deep breath and asked her why all of those things mattered. She emotionally exclaimed that she wanted to be like them because they were popular. When I asked her what made them popular she said, “they have the most friends, and they hang out together and sit together, and everyone wants to be like them”. 


Oh gosh, I remember those days. Don’t you? The days of comparing yourself to others. Looking down at yourself wondering why you still looked like a kid and all the other girls looked like Baywatch Lifeguards! Changing your hairstyle, cutting bangs (never again), dressing differently, listening to different music, doing things you wouldn’t normally do just to fit in with the “popular kids”.  Doing my best to try and be more like them. Heck we’d all be lying if we said we no longer struggled in this arena. Bottom line, we have all been there, and some of us really still struggle there. 


I went on to tell her that she is the only Aryana there is. That there is no one else ever made in the history of all things is like her. That she is unique and was made different ON PURPOSE. I told her that there are things about her that make her special, and that wanting to change any of it or be different than any of it was really dishonoring the very things that make her. I told her that every time she tried to be like them she was letting go of the little pieces of her Aryana Puzzle, and that eventually a puzzle missing pieces no longer makes the bigger picture. The bigger picture of who you are and who you were made to become, and that one day she would lose so much of herself trying to be like everyone else that she wouldn’t recognize herself. For those of us who have been down that road know what a long journey it is to get YOU back. 


I told her BE YOU, NOT THEM. I told her when she felt that pressure to say that to herself. I will encourage you to do the same. Be YOU, NOT them. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have unique gifts and talents that only YOU can deliver to the world. Don’t lose sight of that or yourself trying to be like everyone else. It’s separation season, separate yourself from the thought and idea that you are not good enough just the way you are. 





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Brewing Success Podcast Leadership Journal - Andrea Gebhardt

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