I believe

Samantha - Hinton, Oklahoma
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that being yourself and knowing what you will stand for is the key to success. When I am bieng myself, I leave little doubt about what I believe, put up with, and give an idea about what I will sacrifice.

Lee Iococca once said, “I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you’re trying to accomplish, and what you’re willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.” I had the same epiphany. When I am honest with myself, I am able to be honest with others with little or no difficulty.

One person who has helped me overcome this issue is the last I expected. My younger sister has always been outgoing and is certainly not a conformist. Being myself allows me to be comfortable around people, a lesson I learned from her. In recent years, this has erupted into a “louder me.” I no longer mind the fact that there are always people who will disagree with me. I know myself well enough, so I speak freely. My English teacher has our class do bellwork. We write about whatever is on the board and discuss it for several minutes before class. A few years ago, I wasn’t able to talk about what I wrote, afraid that I would be made fun of. Now I am able to talk about almost anything.

I was once the type of person who would change their opinion because I wanted to be like someone else. Someone would state their opinion about something, and I would agree or disagree, depending on the person. I soon reached the point that when people would ask what I did or did not like, I didn’t know what to tell them. I have learned from experience that trying to be someone else was holding me back in a major way. I was afraid to be myself, scared that people might find me “weird” or “different.” Now I know that some will think that anyway, if it will be their opinion. The only difference between now and then is that I want the real me to stand out, instead of simply fitting in.

The moral of the story is: trying to be someone else only gets you hurt, or hurts someone else. My grandmother always asked, “What if you marry a man, and he turns out to be a completely different person?” Her question finally provoked thought. I didn’t want to end up with someone I could not trust, nor did I want to be the person no one trusted.