I have come to believe one of the most difficult, yet important, functions you have in life is to accept who you are and be happy with that discovery. We have discussed in other columns how politicians and leaders need to see themselves not through their own myopic lens, but rather as others see them. This lesson is one of the most important skills that you can develop and employ for future success. The issue about accepting who you are comes after that introspective look.
During my many travels I have found quite a few individuals (yes—many elected officials) in the world who lack self-awareness and truly believe that they present as calm, rationale, level-headed and intelligent individuals. The hard truth for some is they come across as bi-polar or manic, with a hairpin trigger and not really that smart. That is perhaps a harsh truth for some to understand and accept.
Where do we go from here?
I was reading about an Emmy award winning chef and author, Giada De Laurentiis, who has suffered some personal ups and downs and she talked openly about how she finally found peace within.
As Giada tells her story, she recalls how for many years she lived her life simply to please others. Whether it be for fans, family or friends, she found herself trying to be the person they wanted, not the person she actually was. After much disappointment, Giada decided to get some control and regain authenticity in her life.
To do so, she had to allow herself to figure out who she really is and accept it. By doing so, Giada found peace and a calm in her once chaotic life. Regarding this transformation, Giada stated “I am okay with who I am regardless of what others think.” If only we all could think that way.
In the political context, some struggle to reinvent, reform, distort or contort themselves into being what they think the public wants/expects. Whether it be on issues, personal choices or public statements, many elected officials have betrayed who they are for the acceptance of others.
What would our political world be like if we took Giada’s advice and were comfortable with who we are and let the voters know it. Maybe they’d trust the people they elect, because they’d know we were like them. Just a thought.