Every person is an individual. We are different in many ways including appearance, likes, dislikes, age, abilities, feelings, personality and relationships. We need to remember we are much more than what we do to make a living. The things we believe to be our successes and our failures are only a small part of who we truly are. Everyone is unique and has something to offer the world. The writer, Kim McMillen said, ‘When I loved myself enough I came to see I am not special but I am unique,’
It may seem that being an individual and being proud of it is difficult. Perhaps you need to ask yourself what you feel is right for you at this time in your life. The answer is likely to be at least slightly different from what anybody else would answer. This is because you are an individual and your circumstances are different from those of everyone else.
We need to spend time working out what our personal values are. Whatever we do needs to ‘fit’ with these values. Our work (whether it be paid or unpaid), our interactions with family, friends and others with whom we have contact, hobbies and interests, our home and everything else needs to be true to our values. All this is part of our individuality.
Being an individual means accepting and loving the person you are, warts and all. You need to be willing to show your flaws and idiosyncrasies (when appropriate) and not take yourself too seriously. You don’t have to stand out from the crowd or be eccentric, unless that is your true personality. When you accept yourself as an individual you will be confident to be assertive and express your own ideas but you will also listen to what others have to say.
Sometimes we lose our sense of self, our sense and pride in being an individual. Life coach and author, Mary Manin Morrissey said, ‘Often we lose our identity trying to please or placate others.’ It is not possible to please everybody and we will wear ourselves out if we even try. It is important to act in accordance with our own personal values and what brings us pleasure, rather than trying to be what others may want us to be or what we think they want of us..
How do people show their individuality? One of the ways many women enjoy showing their individuality is through the clothes they wear. However, some women lack the confidence to wear what they really like and try to follow fashion because it feels safe. When you buy clothes, choose what you want to wear, not what others like. If you dress in a style or select clothes in colours that aren’t ‘you’ the result will not make you happy. Fashion keeps changing but you know what suits you. Some people suggest taking a friend with you when buying clothes. However, when I did this during my teenage years, I ended up buying items that were not really ‘me’.
Throughout your life you will learn, grow and change as you experience different things and come into contact with a variety of people. However, you will still be an individual and you will still be yourself. Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet, author and playwright said, ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’