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Don’t be yourself

Don’t be yourself

I love the joke where a husband in a rare romantic moment leans over and softly whispers in his wife’s ear, “I’m the only one in your life, aren’t I?”  The wife gently turns to look at her beloved man and with a smile on her face, whispers back, “Of course you are dear, all the others were nines and tens.” 😊

There’s the thought out there saying to ‘just be yourself,’ as if being yourself is the best you could be.  The flaw in this view is the assumption there’s nothing about you that needs changing.

I don’t know about you but my life has at times highlighted significant need for personal change.


[Details of this story are altered]

I sat in my office with a 75yr old who’d been sent to me via a Health Professional that couldn’t find anything of a physical nature wrong with him. The 75yr old didn’t believe I could help and with arms folded in defiance looked at me and said, “ok fix me then.”

In talking with him he shared how he’d suffered from major stress in his life that he blamed on his family and employers. He also shared he was disconnected from his adult children which he put down to “their issues.”

Long story short, after asking a few questions it didn’t take him long to realize his own thinking patterns had significantly contributed to his frustrated life.

His comment to me when seeing this was, “you have just made me feel worse.”

When I asked why he replied “I should have come to you thirty years ago.”

He then went on to say he wasn’t listening to anymore of this and proceeded to walk out of my office.  I tried to help him understand he now had a wonderful opportunity to begin restoring relationships, but sadly he wasn’t willing to own his portion of that responsibility.


One of the most challenging questions we can ask ourselves is; ‘What stupid thing am I doing on a regular basis to screw up my life?’  You have to really want to know the answer to this question because it’s frighteningly easy to ignore or deny the truth.


A large part of our time and energy is spent looking out for our own comfort and protection.  However, choosing to live in that space long term will restrict the potential for our lives.

As an author I recently read put it “If it doesn’t push you to the limit you are unlikely to gain anything valuable from it. You don’t get the gold (reward) without the dragon (risk).”

Until we are able to reassure ourselves that failure isn’t fatal; it’s just a learning opportunity we’ll struggle to risk stepping out beyond ourselves to make the changes needed to grow.

If we start with small consistent steps towards personal growth it can be very satisfying to see how far we can get in a relatively short period of time.

Who knows maybe even becoming a nine or a ten 😊

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