Why Being Yourself Leads To Success

I am two episodes away from finishing Gossip Girl. Dan Humphrey’s young, emerging writer status is quickly becoming known around New York City for his first book, Inside, the riveting, mostly true tale of his privileged Upper East Sider “friends.”

Through exploiting the secrets and schemes of how the insanely rich live, Dan is becoming famous. This comes at a price, of course — Everyone he is close to shuns him from his blatant and very public betrayal.

Sadly, this is the way a lot of people operate. They will do anything to get ahead, even if that means trashing your best friends and leaving your family in the dust.

Money and power, or the allusion of money and power, turns people into unrecognizable versions of themselves. And it’s ugly.

This made me think of what I’m doing with my life. Namely, with my career.

Am I doing things with integrity? Am I helping people or hurting people?

Looking back at the positions I’ve held — Talent Director, Retail Manager, Content Specialist — The common theme of them all was providing people with raw information in an entertaining, persuasive manner.

It was my job to tell it like it was, but in a way that made people feel warm and fuzzy, like they were on the right track and taken care of.

That’s what I enjoy doing. That’s what I’m good at. I love sharing my experiences and making people feel great about embracing who they are and what they’re about, no matter how that message is delivered.

All of these articles preaching, “You need supportive people who share your vision in order to feel fulfilled,” are right. You need people who can relate to you, who believe in you, by your side — in life and in business. You can’t go at it alone.

Well, going at it alone is what I’ve been doing for the past year or so, which is probably what this “something missing” piece has been all this time.

Other than the obvious friends and family members who you trust to be your true, authentic selves around, outlandish remarks and questionable behavior included, who else can you rely on? And how the hell do you find people outside of your circle that straight up “get you?”

You be yourself.

You represent who you are no matter who you’re talking to, where you are in the world or what job title you hold.

Only then will you really figure out what you should be doing with your life. And more importantly, what and who brings you genuine happiness.

I believe happiness leads to success. Not the other way around. And how can you be happy if you’re pretending to be someone you’re not? Following the crowd because that’s what you feel like you should be doing?

I have never understood or agreed with the way so many people think your professional self is different than your actual self. How does that make sense? If you feel like you have to behave a certain way to accommodate your boss, a so-called friend or anyone else, you’re in bad company.

And further more, if you aren’t being yourself, you’re attracting the wrong people. Even if being yourself attracts just one person, that’s worth it. Because that one person gets you. They welcome your presence and they accept the flaws that other people don’t.

Miley may have said it best — She can’t be tamed. I certainly can’t be tamed. And neither should you.

Don’t let negative people or people who take themselves too seriously break your spirit or make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Serious people are boring and will never feel the euphoria of life experiences the way we do. Because we can’t relate to boring. We are millennials.

Life is better when we laugh. I write about the importance of mental health & believe our weirdness is what makes us great. https://ashleyalt.substack.com/

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