My son is starting school, he is brave and confident and can’t wait to make new friends and to be honest, so am I.
But I wasn’t always this way.
For me the first day of school was always thoughts of, “will they like me this year?”, “have I got the right bag?”, “are they going to make fun of my hair this year?” All these questions went through my head and I was so worried that I wouldn’t be liked.
I never was in all honesty – I was always weird and always bullied for it and only ever had a few close friends.
I reinvented myself again and again. I changed my hair, I changed my style but I was always me. A little autistic, more baggage than an airline carrier and an adult, cynical way of looking at the world – just because I changed the packaging didn’t make me less me inside and that was someone who didn’t fit in.
It wasn’t until I changed as a person that I stopped being “weird” and embraced being UNIQUE.
None of us are the same, except for one fear – the fear that we won’t be accepted.
Our tribal ancestors had to work together to survive and if they were ostracised from the group, they would be alone, with no shelter and no food and no way to live.
We are still tribal people, but we don’t need to rely on the people physically closest to us anymore to fill that void. Your tribe can be anywhere in the world, any group of people from any location, speaking almost any language. Thanks to the internet our world is larger than it’s ever been – so what if one person doesn’t like you (I guarantee at least one person doesn’t like you)? They aren’t your people, but you do have people and they are out there.
I did change who I am, I embraced my uniqueness and learnt to love myself. I changed the cynical, negative outlook to one of gratitude and kindness. I stopped looking at peoples failings – including my own, and started celebrating all our achievements. I no longer worry about being a certain way or a certain person, I am me and being myself means that those who do resonate with me and like me, really like me.
Will I be standing at the school gate hoping to make some mum friends and that people will like me? Of course I will, but it hasn’t consumed my thoughts for the past week, it doesn’t worry me that they might not – but it would be nice.
Loving yourself can be the hardest thing to do, we are so used to being our harshest critic, but until you can truly love yourself you will always hold a little of yourself back from others. They can sense that you aren’t being your true self, whether you believe that’s the energy you give off, or the subtle body language and tone used, people can pick up that you are not being yourself, and no one wants a friend that isn’t themselves around them.