We live in a world where you are known for what you believe in, and as you get closer to your own truth, you may lose some people along the way. This is actually great. Who wants followers or friends that don’t believe in us, anyway?
Someone said to me the other day, “What is life but a constant competition?”
“My life isn’t a competition, it’s a quest," I replied. A quest to be the best version of me. The most real and honest version of me. The me I was born to be, without fear or apology. The me that shines so bright, it lights up the sun itself.
But sometimes, you shine your light so bright that it blinds some people. Sometimes you are you with such volume that some people need to cover their ears. Sometimes, when you are really you, you lose some people from your life. Because your truth might just not resonate with theirs.
Whether it’s our personal or professional relationships, we all want to be known and loved for who we really are and whatever we have to offer. Yet it’s surprisingly difficult to figure out what that actually is. It takes time and dedication to figure it out ourselves, and it takes courage and honesty to share it with the world. Be it your marriage, your career or your branding, this is a lifelong quest of evolving discovery.
When it comes down to it, there is only one person that you have to live with your entire life: you. And if you can’t be honest with yourself, for better or worse, then you aren’t being honest with the people in your life. They might even believe the illusion you’ve created for yourself, and could just be buying into the story you’ve fabricated about yourself. It might fit with their own view of the world. And when you step into your truth, they might suddenly feel at odds with your reality. But if they leave at that point, then it’s not really a loss. At that point, they are making space for the ones who actually want the real you in their lives.
If you’re living your truth, with honesty and bravery, and you lose some people, then they probably weren’t your people to begin with. Let them go — and make space.
There are so many people in the world, and so many kinds of people in the world. We are all living our own truths, and we are all living in our own illusions. Most relationships, whether they are professional or personal, are formed out of a need to have something in our lives that we don’t have on our own. Opposites attract, because this creates balance in our lives. Every yin has its yang, and together, we become a fuller version of being.
But when a yin doesn’t acknowledge where it curves, and where it has a corner or a jagged little edge, its yang can never fit comfortably up against it. And sometimes, a yin can’t even know it has a little rough edge until a yang tries to sit up against it, and they both realise it’s not quite the right fit, because there’s a little part that doesn’t fit and is making them both uncomfortable.
Usually, though, a yin comes across many yangs that don’t fit quite right, yet each one helps her know exactly what her shape is, where she has the most to offer, and where she needs the most in return, all while making a few little rough bits a lot smoother and more refined.
And that’s the way that a yin becomes more and more ready to meet the right yang — by knowing exactly what she has, and what she needs.
It takes courage to face yourself with honesty, while accepting the stream of people coming in and out of your life as naturally and unperturbedly as each lungful of air you breathe in and out. Just as each breath shapes you in every moment, so does each relationship. Some breaths are deeper than others, some are nasty while others are intoxicating, some make your head spin and others, you don’t even notice. Yet all breaths are the same, because each one comes and each one goes.
But when you try to hold a breath beyond its usefulness, you’re bound to suffocate, maybe even cause yourself some long term brain damage. So it’s best to let each breath go, and trust there will be another.
Every breath comes, and every breath goes, there is no win or lose, because there is no competition. What’s important is to keep breathing, because that’s what keeps life — and the quest to be the best version of yourself — going.
The true friends who want to be part of your journey will follow automatically — because they really do believe in you. (And that’s the best kind of branding.)