E.E. Cummings once said ‘it takes courage to grow up and be who you really are’.

It’s so easy to understand and grasp when you see it written down (like most great quotes) isn’t it?

We know its value and ‘truth’ and yet: why do so many of us live each day of our lives waiting for the ‘stamp of approval seal‘, the permission, the go-ahead, the say-so from others just to be ourselves?

Why does it seem almost impossible to take a personal heroic action and stand up, be brave and declare to the world that ‘yes, this is who I really am’ ?

And if you did step out from the ‘norm’ is there always the ugly threat that some people aren’t going to accept you?

Let’s get going by stating the obvious first…

1. There will people that just don’t like you: what you’re doing, who and what you are, your values and the image you project onto their world. There will be people, who insist on making your business, their business: and there is nothing you can do about it!

See, I told you it was obvious. (And if you think you must loved and liked by everyone, we really need to talk!)

2. On the other hand…there will always people who love you, care for you and wish you success in whatever you do today and tomorrow. They’ll root for you, be your biggest cheerleaders, no matter what.

And now brace yourself for the not so obvious (it may hurt a little)…

3. There will be a small handful of people who you think are a Number 2 above but are in fact a Number 1. They are waiting, willing and wanting for you to fall on your backside. And the more visible you make yourself at stepping away from their ‘norm’, their view of their world or their comfort zones, the more they will have to say on your life.

Here’s the stinger: you may never know who they are. They keep themselves invisible to you. Yep, they could be a friend or family member, or even a stranger!

These people are here, they are always going to be here, there is nothing you can do about it, accept their presence, have courage as EE Cummings says, grow up and as the old saying goes ‘Do It Anyway’.

In life, (as in business) there is NO WAY you’ll please everyone. In life you can sit back and wait until you have the approval of everyone around you before you can make a change; trust me, it’s never going to come.

In life ,you can ‘give up’ your right to live authentically and honestly, so that you never become the topic of conversation.

In life you can trim yourself, keep parts of you hidden, try to wear a mask so that you never have to explain your actions.

There are choices though:

You can ‘stick with what you know’ and go through life never upsetting the apple, banana, orange or plum cart. You can continue to stifle yourself, your creativity, your dreams, your plans, your wishes and passions. Scared to step away from a current lifestyle because ‘people may talk’. A sure threat to losing your identity!


You can say ‘screw it’, get yourself buckled up and drive off in the other direction. Will you leave some people standing? Probably. Will some people be sitting waiting for you to return and fill you with ‘I told you so’. Maybe.

Only you can make the decision to never be held in an imaginary prison created for you by other people’s opinions.

A Lesson From Bond, James Bond

Sean Connery, is from Edinburgh, my hometown.

When ‘Msh Moneypenny Connery’ is out of town and making the headlines folks say ‘I remember him when he was just a milkman, who does he think he is now’ and when he’s in town they are lining the streets to touch and congratulate the man, or give him keys to the city. See, Number 3’s!

Do you think for one second Connery worries and concerns himself with the people who are bitter about his success and former career as a milkman? Em, no!

Okay, maybe Connery is not a great example, how about this one…

A woman who wants to return to work and with little formal education she attends a training programme, and as each day passes she learns something new about herself.

She comes to a decision that her current life is not the same one she wants for her future. So, she makes changes. She may no longer want to go to the same places, or do the same things, or keep the same company and maintain the same friendships as she once did!

(How DARE she! The towns people screamed!)

People in her life who are content and happy with the ‘way she is’ begin to struggle and can’t understand it when the current comfort zone (they both existed in for so long), is no longer good enough for her.

So the relationship changes, distance is created.

She becomes the ‘outsider’.

Now some of her once ‘well wishers’ need to know that they are right for not having stepped out from the ‘norm’, so they begin to create alliances with the rest of the pack.

They meet: they discuss, they talk about the ‘outsider’, forgetting in their berating and belittling that they onceconnected and shared. They now look forward to the day she ‘falls on her face, knows her place, remembers where she’s from and they tell each other she can’t come back here, she abandoned us once so never again’.

The Do It Anyway Lessons

1. People will always talk. Always. There is NO doubt in my mind that when you have just ten minutes breathe left inside me, you won’t be thinking about all the people you didn’t please!

Give yourself one good reason why they should matter now.

2. You may however (if you let the Number 3’s affect you) be full of regret of what you didn’t manage to squeeze in.

What comfort zones are you currently living in that you know are no longer good enough for you? What will happen if you stay there?

3. Many people (in my experience) are terrified of stepping away and out from the safety of a ‘closed’ group. So they remain static, however, the longer you try and please everyone all the time, the longer you are moving further and further away from who the hell you are.

4. To remain in a comfort zone that no longer fits you (because of the fear that stepping out will cause people to talk) will crush your passion, motivation, integrity and authenticity.

What are currently putting off because of the fear people ‘may talk’?

5. Do It Anyway. Dr Seuss quote sums this up…“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

6. If you do fall, it’s 99% certain you are going to fall forward not back, get up, keeping moving.

7. The stamp of approval seal…this may not happen today or tomorrow, maybe it will click with you soon though. Find a way to ‘get this’, even if you have to contact me so I can make you see sense!

Get yourself out of the waiting room of life, people remain in there all their years, waiting on the ‘all clear’ to be themselves. It will never happen, that call is only one you can make to yourself.

No person can stand between you and your future, unless you put them there!

Author's Bio: 

Dawn is a qualified and experiences personal development trainer and coach. She works with individuals who are ready to create and design for themselves a life they are proud of at work and play. She excels at empowering people to maximize their full potential.