by Yvonne DiVita
The answer is easy.
The first thing you need to do to be successful in life or anything else, is be. Be you.
Too often when we choose to become something special, something new and extraordinary, something out of the realm of possibility - the possibility we were taught - we think we also have to become somebody else. We have learned in school, or at home, that we are not ever going to be able to do this or that. Sometimes the lesson was brutal, sometimes it was a silent admonition where we were nudged away from that thing we loved to do, and told no, that won't do - here, do this, instead.
If you've decided to throw off the shackles and chains and do that thing - build a business, write a book, become a public speaker, start a blog, whatever it is - your first lesson is to bring yourself along. Do not become someone new. Do not become the caricature of the person you are now, because you think that caricature is a better representation of your new life.
Trust me. You want to be you. And everyone else wants you to be you.
I tried it the other way.
I thought I had to become a new person, many years ago. I wanted to leave behind the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, to quote Hamlet. I changed my name and held my head up high and moved through my new life as a new me.
What I didn't realize, until many years later, is that I never left the old me behind. Where would I have put her? In the closet? She would not have endured that well, she objects to small spaces. In the corner of my bedroom? That would have been spooky!
I dragged her along, or she dragged me along, for a good many years. She whispered awful things in my ear, the kind of things that make you stop in your tracks and fight back tears. She wanted me to remember her, and all the darkness I was trying so hard to come out of - pushing myself through - hoping if I didn't look back, it wouldn't be there.
It took a long time to recognize that, even with a name change, I was still the same person. Despite the other me wanting to remind me of things better left in the dust of yesterday, I could move forward and be me and succeed.
In fact, being me was the best thing I could do. By taking charge of the 'old' me and putting her in her place (not the closet, not the corner, just on a rug in a meadow with bright sunshine and trees all around her), I was able to move forward with the new me, a woman of substance and determination.
Take time to figure out who you are
Now, be that person. That person will forever be part of your past, part of your present, and all of your future.
Be ready to share some stories of your trials and tribulations. They are part and parcel of your life, and why you are here, now, doing whatever it is you are doing. I hope you are doing something wonderful and delightful, that makes you happy.
Before I close, understand I'm not on the "find yourself" band wagon. That's something else, entirely. It requires a bit more work. And, yes, I know there are folks out there making fun of the concept of finding yourself. After all, they say, how did you get lost? But, sometimes, you do get lost and finding yourself is necessary.
This is different. This is being you. This is accepting that face in the mirror every morning. Loving that face. Giving her a smile because she is you and she will be your closest, best friend, if you let her be.
Whatever you want to leave behind, or forget, or bury in a deep, deep hole, go ahead, do it. But, don't bury yourself along with it. You need to survive and thrive.
You do that by recognizing your magic, your talent, your reason for being, and moving forward with it. This does not negate your importance as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, or whatever. You are those things also, and they are treasures, indeed. But this - this magic you have - to create or teach or inspire - that part of you is starlight. It deserves to be held up to the light, for all to see.
I am still learning this. It's not always easy if you've believed you had to leave 'her' behind to become 'you'.
I ask that you take some time to embrace you, and her, and become one. Become the you in all your wonder that the Universe always said you would be.
And, if that you is ready to build that business or write that book, perhaps I can help. Write to me at yvonne (at) yvonnedivita (dot) com.
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