By Kate Kole
I’m either a ‘gotta have it’ or ‘really don’t need it’ kind of shopper. There’s rarely an in between. The neon need it now: add to cart sign flashed in my mind as I browsed online a few weeks ago. I’d heard of a new-to-me company, Truth Tanks, while listening to my favorite podcast. And when I went to check out the website, I discovered what I’ve now officially deemed my current favorite top.
Written across the front are 6 simple words: Be you. The world will adjust.
That mantra, slogan, catchphrase, what have you, speaks straight to my soul.
It’s simultaneously one of the simplest and most challenging efforts I make, remind myself of, and re-remind myself of on a daily basis.
Deep down, I am me. I know me. I know the things that I love, the experiences that make me feel the most alive, the activities that I enjoy, the work that I find meaningful, the times that I feel most connected to myself, and the moments that I’m in alignment with my own vision for my life. When I’m on track. Authentic. Nourished. Well.
And then, somewhere along the way of living, of being in relationship with others, witnessing the world around me, seeing what’s encouraged, validated, expected, and popular by society’s standards, I begin to shift and adapt. Both consciously, and often without even realizing it.
I want to fit in, to belong, to be liked.
I want to feel competent, successful, worthy.
And I don’t think that craving is particularly peculiar or unique to me. Few of us wanted to be the last kid picked in kickball or to sit in the lunchroom alone. Most of us wanted to be asked to the dance and hoped that we’d make the team. Hell, I was disappointed when I didn’t earn a spot on the middle school cheerleading squad even though I have no coordination or rhythm and never actually wanted to be a cheerleader.
I just wanted to be accepted. Admired. Cool.
What I’m just now beginning to slowly (like crawling pace) see and feel and truly believe is that fitting in with ourselves feels better than fitting into what we believe the world wants. Being true to our own intuition works in a way that living according to the standards of someone else never will.
And sometimes, that way of living can feel hard. Like, need a tank top in my closet with the words: Be you. The world will adjust hard. Because in so many ways, my inclination is to work to please others before I even check in to see if the work satisfies me.
My goal isn’t to create a life that looks good. It’s to live a life that feels good.
So, today and everyday (okay, probably just most days) I’m going to carve out a moment, in the morning, or at night, or somewhere in between. To step back. To close my eyes. To take a breath. To check in with myself, my goals, my priorities, and my values. And to recommit to those.
Let’s be us. The world will adjust.