I can't call myself a die-hard fan of anyone or anything (except pizza). I've never gone gaga for Lady Gaga or belted out a Beyonce tune at the top of my lungs. I appreciate in silence. And I belong to the utopian school of thought that since we're all human, we all deserve equal attention and respect. I was not born to be greater or lesser than anyone else; I was born simply to be.
I then proceeded to act like a complete hypocrite as the following series of events ensued. Last week, I began to notice a dramatic increase in the sum of my Instagram followers. I, who had slaved to perfect the shameless selfie for an entire year only to reach a meager 3,000 followers, was abruptly bombarded with hundreds of new "friends" per hour. I thought maybe a welcomed mistake had occurred, or perhaps I had won the Instagram lottery. My mother called, frantic as usual, and declared that two major magazines, the Daily Mail and the Mirror had, unbeknownst to us, published articles comparing my own curves to those of the great Kim Kardashian. And now, publications across the globe were beginning to reproduce the articles as well.
I inspected the stories myself as new followers poured in in droves, and spent the next hour examining nearly every inch of my body in front of my mirror. But my rear end isn't nearly as bubbly as hers... although from this angle it is... and I kind of like my tummy better... except that her legs are much more toned than mine... and her face, oh gosh, she's so pretty and I have dark circles under my eyes I wonder what laser can get rid of those.... It was in the midst of my conclusion that I shall have to move to China to escape the negative backlash from the media, that I suddenly burst out laughing. What was I doing? As a life coach, I instill in my clients all sorts of self-loving techniques, endearing them to their own selves by emphasizing that they must never dim their unique, inner light in comparison to others. In blatant irony, I was doing myself a great disservice by allowing a few articles to disrupt my emotional peace. Besides, I should be thankful at such well-rounded rivalry (no pun intended).
I headed to my library of books, my dearest treasure, and plucked Arianna Huffington's Thrive from the shelves. I skimmed through its pages to find the quote I had in mind: "So find your place to stand--your place of wisdom and peace and strength. And from that place, remake the world in your own image, according to your own definition of success...." Find your place to stand, Alex, I reminded myself. I am graceful in my own way, I am successful in my own right, and I won't be defined according to another. Here, I stand. I let this affirmation sink into my mind as relief surged through me.
I realized that, as women, our first instinct is to personalize the best qualities of another female upon ourselves; we "wish" we had the lips of Angelina Jolie and the eyes of Megan Fox. This, in turn, leads us to neglect the beauty we already possess. There is nothing wrong with being appreciative of others, but envious comparisons diminish the power that beams from the core of our being. You may look, act, talk, think, even laugh like someone else, but your thumbprint has no parallel in this universe.
Indeed, your authenticity is your only roadmap towards true joy; it determines what you attract and repel. Like a magnet, your energy will reel in what you project subconsciously. And if you emit a false impression -- a dulled-down, confused, imitative version of the real you -- then you will attract similar chaos in your relationships. You can live richly once you pull the illusionary veil of unworthiness off of your being, and allow your soul to radiate in its full-fledged glory. Discover your authenticity and live -- and I do mean live -- by it. Swear by its saving grace. Implement the following three principles to establish your authentic code:
Thrive by creativity. Your creativity is directly linked to your authentic self. One beckons the other. The most genuine version of you peaks its head out when you invoke your creative nature. Create based on what you love. If you love music, write a song. Sing it, even if you don't have a nice voice. If you like to dance then dance, whether anyone's watching or not. Write a book, a poem, a play, if only for yourself. Design a new concept. Come up with a new hairstyle or makeup trend. Construct a new idea or theory about our world. Restyle your home or craft new recipes from what comes to you inventively. Incorporate creativity into everyday facets so that your authenticity can burst forth through your actions.
Recognize that love is your birthright. Know that you were born to give and receive unconditional love. This is your first irrevocable, eternal right. People may not always give you the love you deserve, but believe that you do merit it. And seek it; surround yourself with those who can build and sustain profound love within you, with supportive, kind, and compassionate souls just like you. Tolerate no belittlement from anyone. When you acknowledge that love is your birthright, you feel nourished in every element of your life.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you need to work on and what must be improved, but don't exaggerate so that you demolish your strengths at the same time. If you need to improve your dedication to your projects, for example, do so without compromising your incredible attention to detail that only you possess. Temporary progress comes in a giant leap; permanent progress comes in small, daily steps of evolutionary endeavors. Reflect on what you need to correct, and have patience with yourself throughout the process of change. Bear in mind the ultimate reason for your betterment: it is done for your own well-being and advancement, not to "exceed" anyone else. And don't focus only on what needs to be modified--applaud, too, your inherent strengths.
Following your authentic code is your key towards a purpose-driven life. Act on the three simple elements of your true nature and become an incomparable, unstoppable force of authenticity.
To being you and not anyone else, not even a Kardashian,