It was something my Dad told me when I was at school.
Like most teenage girls, I was terribly concerned about what people thought of me (still am to a degree!!) and I was doing my own head in trying to fit in.
Truth be told, and as I have come to be at peace with, I will never be cool!
To this very day, especially when faced with the judgey and the leechy types who steal our thunder, that small but poignant instruction rings true.
Being honest and true, and taking ownership of your own stuff is the most powerful of all endorsements.
And it's not until you have that, that you can ably and constructively work with, and help, others.
The most important relationship you will have in business, in parenting and in life in general, is the one with yourself.
You are the one who, through it all, wakes up with you every day; who has to make it through the wee small hours when home truths and worries come to bear.
You are the one who has to look yourself in the eye and know (some pathological conditions aside) that you are being the most honest, real and authentic version of yourself.
Only you know when you are lying. Only you know when your being disingenuous.
Authenticity is liberating if not, as a word, something which has become sadly overused.
Still, anything else is a charade and really, let's face it, acting is exhausting.
So many people spend their days leading the life expected of them.
It's what we see - day in, day out - on social media feeds: a carefully crafted construct which fits suitably within our own personal PR strategy.
It's a pantomime, all bar the script.
It's soul destroying and it ends up being the very definition of dissatisfaction. Every facet of your life is affected and nothing lives up to measure.
Not only that, making a change is terrifying and there is no real way of telling if you're doing the right thing.
But, again, the right thing by whose definition?
Do what feels right. Do what is necessary to be true to you.
That's in business, and in life.
And know that what is right today might not be right in years to come; we all change and that's okay as well.
Only you know your story and where that will take you.
No-one else can force your hand. Nor should your story be thrust upon someone else.
Paddle your own canoe; and, importantly, let others paddle theirs.
We all have the right to live our own truest version of ourselves, and part of that is knowing to value that in everyone you meet.
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