It took me a long time to find “my people” and embrace who I am. Even though tens of thousands of people follow me for some reason, I'm an introvert and admittedly a bit of a nerd.
I don't like going into social situations where we talk about the weather for an hour or go drinking at the bar. That's just not my thing.
My idea of a good time is enjoying a book, watching the latest Cobra Kai episode, playing soccer, writing, hiking, enjoying the beauty of nature, exploring new places, or discussing meaningful things and helping others solve problems.
Embrace Who You Are to Attract Others
The funny thing is that the more I've embraced who I am, the more friends I've found who are just like me. Toastmasters, for example, is one place I have discovered friends who enjoy personal and professional development and meaningful conversations.
When I set the mission of helping each other grow in our personal and professional lives for this community, I knew that not everyone is into personal development. In fact, the majority of people are not. And that's OK, you're never going to please everyone.
You Won't Connect With Everyone
Focusing on people who want to grow while ignoring those who have no interest in personal and professional development has grown this community exponentially. If I had focused on worrying about those who had no interest in growing as a person, I would have quickly been discouraged.
It's the same thing in your personal life. You aren't going to connect with everyone, so don't try to be something you're not just to create an artificial connection. Focus instead on connecting with those who have similar values.
An Introvert Goes Viral
Susan Cain found the power of embracing who she was after her TED talk, “The Power of Introverts,” went viral. The key is that she connected on a deep level with a portion of the population that hadn't heard their story told in public. If you want to create a deeper relationship with others, stop hiding behind a mask, and let your story shine through.
To Build Deep Connections, Embrace Who You Are
With over 7.8 billion people in the world, you could meet a dozen people a second, 24 hours a day, for the next twenty years, and never meet everyone.
If you want to meet people who you have things in common with, then don't be afraid to share who you are. That's how you attract those who are like you, and why embracing who you are is so powerful.
Embracing Who You Are Can Be Painful, but It's Worth It
If you have been pretending to be someone you are not, there are going to be people in your life who push back when you start showing your true colors. That can be painful, but shedding fake relationships is part of creating real ones.
It might be painful in the short term to let the real you out, but it's worth it in the end. If you're an introvert, don't go hole up in a cabin on the mountain and never speak to anyone again. That's a bad idea.
But stop beating yourself up for not going to that party that you'd hate and give yourself permission to enjoy your book, or go for a walk with a friend instead.
Become the Best Version of Yourself, Not Someone Else
You want to push yourself to become the best version of you, but don't push to become someone else. Trying to become someone else will be a painful exercise in futility. Instead, work on developing your existing talents.
If you aren't afraid to embrace who you are, others who are like you will be attracted to that newfound confidence. You may also find a huge weight lifted off your chest when you allow yourself to be who you are.
That's why embracing who you are is so powerful. There may not be anyone else exactly like you, but with 7.8 billion people on the planet, I can guarantee there are many who are having the same thoughts you are having right now. Those like-minded individuals are just waiting on you to share your story so they can say me too. Don't leave them waiting too long.