Personal Story
Are you sure this is for the best? About self development

Becoming a better person

Sometimes I take a step back on the self-improvement thing. Not that I don’t want to get better, it’s just that sometimes I must double-check if I’m moving in the right direction.

Right direction?

Which one is this?

The one that is congruent to your heart.

I’ll tell you this: having worked for many years in big companies, I have spent most of the time trying to fill in the blanks of whatever was expected for this or that position. By this or that boss. To adapt to the culture, colleagues, etc.

Sometimes you just lose track of who you are and what you want. In your heart.

But that is not the worst. Sometimes I feel I don’t know what’s in my heart anymore. To be honest, I always had an unorthodox heart, and sometimes I feel like I lost my quirkiness.

I’ve always been – to say the list – the most unconventional conventional girl. I mean: white girl, mid-class, married parents, studing, doing whatever it is expected of her. That is one side of it. The other one is an extremely whimsical mind.

As a kid and a teenager, I would write poetry as if I have already lived hundreds of years, assemble theater shows, create businesses to sell stuff I made, invent and produce magazines, comic books, and also make some of the most inappropriate things such as bring fantasies to my military school so I could take some fun pictures with my friends.

Even as an adult, I would do a lot of unconventional stuff at work: free hug posters on my job station, motivational gifts to everybody I knew every year, and some other weird stuff.

I know that the way I’m telling it does not seem like much and I don’t want to get in details, but you’ve got to believe me that people were always in shock.

Most of the time I was really unaware I was being wacky. But after one year or two of anything I could always realize that I was eccentric, outlandish, maybe even childish. I would always hope that this could mean that I’m actually an unfitted genius, just ahead of time or something, but as time goes by I realized more and more that there is no brilliant skill, just the bizarre.

The shame started shutting me down. Little by little.

Sadness.

Paralysis.

.

.

.

.

.

And the more I shut down, the more I was unable to find pleasure whenever I did something queer. I already knew that, eventually, I would feel the emotional hangover.

To the point that I was no longer myself, and I felt very depressed. I continued to do uncanny stuff even when I was trying really hard not to (my mind really function under some grotesque parameter), and the amount of self-consciousness I was experimenting for just being me was terrible.

And then I embraced it.

I am mad-cap-off-the-wall-strange.

So when I tap into my “self-development” side, I always tread carefully. How can I be better but still be myself? More than that, how can I be better to myself?

And that is something I’ve wanted to share with all of you. Yes, let’s be better. But shall we never forget who we are.

Are you also being better TO yourself?
Illustration co-created with @andresidarta

Author : Fernanda Sarmento

Fernanda Sarmento is the owner of @mindingwithin, a self-development addicted, writer and digital marketer. With a bachelor in Social Communication and Media Studies and a master in Production Engineering she regards herself as both a meditation and ice cream junkie.

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