I wrote a blog about this months ago and it was posted before I unintentionally deleted everything on this site. After a friend brought up this old blog and mentioned how it held great meaning to her, I knew it was time to revisit the topic. The title then was “Stop Explaining Yourself To Others”. While I see the relevance of titling it that at the time, I’m working towards approaching things from a positive place as often as possible these days (do rather than don’t, starting rather than stopping, intentions rather than habits etc). Explaining ourselves is a complicated practice that I believe we all need to explore. Finding the root cause of our desire/need to explain our decisions and actions can help to get us very clear about how comfortable we are with ourselves.
Do you know who you are? What you want?
Let’s get right to the juicy stuff. Through personal experience and self-exploration I have pushed myself to get very clear on the answers to these questions. What I’ve found along the way is sometimes surprising, sometimes relieving, sometimes easy, sometimes hard. The biggest and best thing that has come out of addressing these questions is: releasing the need to explain myself.
I am comfortable with my decisions and my actions. Before a big decision – like accepting a new job – I take as much time as I need to sit with myself and discover if it is really right for me. How does it feel? Does it fit with my core values? What will my life look like? I consider as many variables as possible and I journal everything out. I write about my inhibitions in hopes of recognizing where they come from. I write about my excitement in hopes of identifying where it comes from. If I’m nervous because it’s new and a bit scary, that is a positive note (pushing boundaries is a great way to grow). If I’m excited because it’s easy money, that is a negative note (where is the drive?).
explaining yourself is a waste of your energy
Committing to the practice of self-exploration takes a lot of time and energy. That’s enough! You don’t need to expend even more energy explaining yourself to anyone. Trust yourself. Be yourself. Your friends and family don’t have to get it. People in your life will not always understand who you are and why you do the things you do. That’s 100% fine! Actually that’s 100% awesome! You are an incredible individual! There is only one YOU. Rock that. Be brave. Be unapologetic. Be YOU! Anything less is not living.
Picture this: A misunderstanding happens. You review the part you played. You find comfort in knowing you were true to yourself. You move on.
Personal example: Yesterday I posted a selfie on instagram. The caption read “Mascara makes me feel pretty”. Why? Because I had just put mascara on (which is a rare occurrence, I don’t “do” make-up) and felt like my eyes were poppin’ and that made me feel pretty. This is not to say that I don’t feel pretty most days. I feel pretty a lot. A friend commented “You are pretty”. When I saw that I thought “I know”, but I could see how she was perhaps thinking I was feeling a tad insecure. I can see how this image and this caption would come across that way. I also see the irony in my clarification of this image and this caption. I chose not to engage – not to explain my intent behind the post. For an instant, the comment “you are pretty” made me want to explain myself, but then I considered my action and felt totally fine with how I presented myself. Without another thought, I continued my day.
the bottom line
It is important to stay true to yourself. It is important to spend time with yourself. It is important to get very clear on who you are and what you want so that you don’t feel the need to explain yourself. It is not your job to define your actions to anyone other than yourself.
Stop explaining yourself to others. Start being the truest version of yourself. Start the ongoing process of your evolution and fall in love with every step of the journey (and every new version of you). One of the best repercussions of this beautiful path, is realizing that all of a sudden you are surrounded by people who don’t question you or your actions.
Being you should not hurt others. This is not an “I’m better than you” idea. This is an “I am me and proud of it” idea. If you find yourself in a place where your actions have harmed another, there is always room for explanation. Be critical (of yourself, NOT others). Be good. Be kind. Be honest. Be open. Be real. Be authentically you.