Yesterday I shared what I like about the frequently quoted (and tatted) Shakespeare line, “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
I interpret it as know who you are and be true to that.
I love the message of self-reflection and authenticity.
But there’s another side to this quote that I hate.
We can use this mentality to limit ourselves to who we are now.
Personally, I’m an overthinker who stresses myself out.
Do I have to be an overthinker to “be true” to myself?
I don’t think so.
One of my core beliefs is that knowing who you are is the foundation of personal growth. Learning about yourself is the required reading of a good life.
Once you know yourself, you can embrace who you are and work to be better. It’s not either/or.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, including those overthinking tendencies or that lack of rhythm. You don’t have to change every flaw, nor could you.
But you also can’t throw up your hands and say “I am who I am” every time you show up a half-hour late to brunch. Again.
I’m grateful that who I am today isn’t who I will be in five years. The potential and space and growth excites me.
So yes, be true to yourself and live a life of authenticity. But…
Don’t kibosh your growth before it can even happen.
To being better without writing ourselves off,