One of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is that I get to be myself. During my time in corporate America, I never quite fit in, no matter how hard I tried. Some co-workers labeled me a “trouble maker” when my opinion didn’t follow the pack, called “difficult” when I posed a question about almost anything and had my motives questioned when I did keep my mouth shut and my opinion to myself. It seemed like no matter what I did, someone was always unhappy with me. Now, I’m not going to sit here and act like I was a perfect angel and didn’t make mistakes along the way, because I did. But I did work really hard to try to fall in and tow the company line. And you know what? I was miserable. I was miserable always trying to figure out how everyone else wanted me to be versus being myself. I felt like I was constantly jumping through hoops. And honestly, that sh*t was exhausting! It was exhausting trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be instead of being myself.
I had finally realized that no matter how hard I tried to please everyone, someone, somewhere was going to have something negative to say. I decided that I would much rather go down in flames being true to myself, than spend the rest of my life, jumping through hoops, exhausted and miserable. Looking back, I realize that I was shrinking myself to make others comfortable. The more I shrank to try to please others, the more I lost me. Without even really realizing it, I had shrunk to the point that the real me had almost disappeared. When I decided to let the masses eat cake, let the chips fall where they may and be myself, it was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt freer than I had ever been. And once I got that taste of freedom, I knew there was no turning back.
Moral of the story – Never apologize for being yourself. Ever. We all have those bad habits and character flaws that we need to work on; I’m not talking about those. If changing something about yourself makes you better, by all means, change it. But if the things people criticize you about are what make you who you are, and you wouldn’t be any better off if you did change, don’t do it. Let them eat cake. Never apologize for being yourself. Do you. The world will adjust.