Square Pegs

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Recently I shared my Lucky 13 Manifesto; one of those 13 statements is about honoring our authentic selves. It states: I believe… We should express and honor our passions and authenticity. You are here to be you. Honor that. Embrace it. Live it.

The reason I felt strong enough to include this statement with my manifesto is because, in the past, I spent many years not honoring and expressing my own authenticity and discovered this is a sure way to struggle through and feel dissatisfied with life.

For many years in many situations, I was constantly trying to fit in, to live my life according to other people’s definition of success, to fit into the “mold” of what society said we “should” do to be successful. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was the square peg trying to cram myself into the round hole. I pushed and shoved and repeatedly wedged my square self into the round hole and eventually, after shoving long enough, I was there. In. I arrived. But because I was trying to fit into a mold that was not my authentic self, it never felt very comfortable. My sharp pointy square peg shoulders started to ache as they rubbed against the edges of the round hole. They wanted to pop out but I was determined to keep them in there. I ignored the discomfort. I struggled to fit. My life felt laborious as I tried to do things I thought I was “supposed” to do and, all the while, pushed aside the things I truly wanted to do and what I was meant to do.

I forced myself to stay in uncomfortable situations, from bad relationships to dissatisfying careers until the discomfort began to get exhausting. It was too tiring to keep cramming my square peg self back into the round hole. But I kept doing it because, I had no idea there were square shaped holes for me to slide easily into. I thought I had to fit into the mold created by others and live up to others’ definitions of success.

When I finally recognized that I was not supposed to be fitting myself into situations that didn’t fit who I was and there were actually situations made just for me, the weight lifted off my shoulders. I suddenly had permission to be my square peg self. I didn’t have to bend and contort myself into uncomfortable dissatisfying positions to fit into situations that were not authentic to me. What I had to do was simply express and honor my passions and authenticity. I had to create my definition of success based on what was true to me. By doing that, the people, events and circumstances that matched my square peg self showed up. Life was no longer a struggle but a ride to be enjoyed. What I also realized is that no one but me was responsible for giving myself permission to be me. Square pegs are not meant to fit into round holes. We are meant to be square pegs. We are all meant to live and honor our authentic selves. When we embrace and live that, we live a life that is not only successful but also incredibly satisfying.

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