I was driving down to Worthing last week to the recording studio (we’re busy creating the next batch of the Adventures of Brian Audio Books) and as I sat at the railway crossing I watched a family walk past.
Mum and dad were chatting, their son wandering close by, and just behind was their daughter… dancing and jumping along the pavement.
It was their daughter who caught my attention, as she leapfrogged the bollards along the pavement, hopscotched across the squares of the pavement slabs and danced down the street with her family her ability to be so unapologetically herself was touching.
You may have noticed how children have the ability to lose themselves in their play, not yet affected by the world’s opinions, oblivious to the concept of conformity there is nothing more beautiful than a child who is unapologetically themselves.
I work with so many adults who are so busy people pleasing, or worrying about what everyone else thinks of themselves that they have become watered down versions of the person they used to know.
As we grow older we can feel pressured to step into a behaviour, or identity that does not quite ‘fit us’ and spend the foreseeable future stuck in a box of conformity that makes us unhappy. It is only when the unhappiness becomes overwhelming that we reach a point of recognition that we are not acting in a way that is congruent with us as a person. Suffocated by a perception of expectation and lost in a world where we feel like we are not being authentic to ourselves.
For some, they will opt to wait until retirement and then ‘live as they want to’ whilst others stay stuck in this rut for life. However, a precious few will break out, changing their expectations, stepping into their authentic shoes and finding ‘themselves’ in the process. Stepping back into that unapologetic behaviour they had as a child, which was sat waiting for them all along.
Understandably this can be a scary concept, it can mean changes, changes of friendship circles, feeling that they do not fit into their old lives, changing relationships or even careers, but as the spell of authenticity grows so does happiness. For after all, how can we ever be happy when we spend our whole life trying to please everyone else.
Happiness starts with you, in you, and to be truly happy we need to start by working on ourselves, not seeking it through other people.
So today, why not be unapologetically YOU, dance like noone is watching, laugh at the things that make your heart sing and steal a bit of happy that creates a memory…
Today, find that inner child who skips and dances down the pavement… you might find a smile you forgot you even had