“You know, you don't have to look like everybody else to be acceptable and to feel acceptable.” ~Fred (a.k.a. Mister) Rogers
I'm pretty fond of this Mister Rogers' quote, primarily because his show was my favorite when I was a wee lad. To be honest, if I saw it on TV now, I would more than likely put down the remote and watch, even if my girls were not in the room. Anyway, what I like about Mr. Rogers was his emphasis that you are fine and loved just the way you are. There's a lot of power in a statement like that. Yet all too often people think, "Well, I'll be liked more if I _______. I have to ______ to be accepted as someone's friend." What does that do? Nothing good. Now you're being controlled by what others think. They dictate what you do. What a terrible way to live life - bound by the chains of seeking popularity. That devalues our self-worth so much, especially when we fail to live up to their standards of excellence and acceptance. Instead of finding value in our own unique, God-given qualities, we find value in people's (ever-changing) opinions of us. Instead of "sticking to our guns," we adapt ourselves to the models of others.
Cardboard cut-outs are fine and dandy if you're running a toy store, but you know what they lack? Depth. If you try to look like everyone, you will lack depth, because all you're focusing on is the outward appearance and mannerisms of someone. You're nothing more than a hollow shell with no depth and no traits that make you... you! What makes you special is your own individuality... your own thoughts, opinions, and feelings. Don't reduce your self-worth to outward appearances and copying other people. Who you are right now is exactly who you need to be. Embrace your self-worth and uniqueness! Not only will you find your self-worth, but you will also find that people really do like you just the way that you are.
That leads me to one more quote...
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a world full of cardboard cut-out actors, singers, businessmen, and so on, to be yourself, to stand by your own convictions, to chase your goals, and to live your dreams is to truly be successful. The decision to change or the decision to pursue something should be because you want to - not because the world says so. Don't try to accomplish a goal for someone else. That's trying to find acceptance in other people. Do it for yourself! Just be yourself!