In your daily communication with colleagues, acquaintances and friends, have you ever noticed the most repeated conversation pattern? Person A asks the somehow obligatory question: “What is going with you?” while person B replies politely with a short and disinterested “Well, nothing much. How about you?”.
Nothing much is the typical answer I give and recently it occurred to me how boring people must think my life is based on the (none) information I provide. Nothing much – when I do have so many things happening around me or so many thoughts rushing in my mind, waiting to be shared. And yet, what comes out of my mouth is a habitual Nothing much.
What are the reasons to hide the realities of my life? I rarely open up about my more intimate dreams, my beliefs and values in front of people who I like. In fact, I can lead a better conversation with someone who is not that important to me than with someone I care about. Why is that so? I suppose the reason is that I am afraid of being disapproved by people who matter. Even worse, I am afraid of being discouraged.
I almost never talk about working on my Illie.co web shop, or freelancing as a copywriter, or designing my first digital book of poetry – because I am scared that those would be considered insignificant or invaluable, and because I do not trust myself enough yet. Recently, I finally opened up about the idea of writing a blog and excitingly shared my thoughts with a friend. His reaction was not supportive; he was not supportive at all. On the contrary, he made me doubt myself and my value as an individual who has something to tell, something to stand behind. I might not be a Carrie Bradshaw or a Gary Vaynerchuk, and probably will never become a worldwide famous blogger who helps thousands of people and touches thousands of souls; neither do I have exclusive trips or stunning adventures to describe – and yet, I do have my value, I do have my uniqueness as a person and I do have my thoughts and experiences which are worth writing about.
When I first started Seek The Unique six months ago in Madrid, I received the support of all my previous flatmates. I will be always thankful to all of them, and one – in particular. This friend of mine inspired me to begin this journey to becoming a better “me”; he gave me the courage to look inside, to accept what there is and to seek what there is not. With him, my reply was never a “Nothing much”. It was everything – we talked about our past good and unpleasant experiences, about our goals – future ones and those which were still work-in-process. I felt comfortable to open up about those little things that mattered in front of a person who mattered because I knew he would never judge, he would be able to understand and even if he did not fully embrace my ideas, he would encourage me to pursue my dreams and well, see what happens. That friend of mine believed in me, and more importantly, made me believe in myself.
Nevertheless, it is unrealistic to expect that everyone will notice your uncovered value. Some people will be ignorant, others – disinterested and third will be simply unable to see though. As a matter of fact, it is not their job to assure you that you are valuable. To be supportive while you are trying to find your worth – sure, this is what friendship is all about. Have you found that type of friends, keep them safe and never let them go because they will be your inspiration in hard times.
However, do not forget: it is your job to present your true values and beliefs, and be confident enough to affirm yourself if needed. This is what being yourself is all about.