In the two years that I’ve worked with Tucker Max not once have I been called a “mini-Tucker” or a “wannabe” or anything like that. That’s not to say I don’t have my collection of enemies. I do and I hear from them quite often.
Since I defined myself first (look at his masthead and mine, they’re opposites) I can only be attacked on the terms that I set. The people that disagree with those terms aren’t the people I’m looking to impress. Not only did I define myself first, I defined myself as I actually am–weaknesses and all. There’s no illusions I’m trying to protect or any other “brands” I’m hoping to one up. There’s no competition for me, I’m the only one.
Deciding to be yourself is scary. There’s no one to follow, and well, what if they don’t like me? But if you can make that bet, the act of actually being you is easy. All you have to do is wake up in the morning.
Define yourself. Or someone else will do it for you. And worse, you might end up listening.
Ryan, do a search for the lyrics to “Make Yourself” (the song, album is the same title) by Incubus.
It’s actually a song about what you write here and has become the anthem of my life.
That would be a little trite no?
It’s still possible to define yourself even after you’ve let other people do it for you and you’ve believed it. Although, I have the sinking suspicion that if I had defined myself earlier it would of taken less time to be where I am now.
But, a work in progress is far better than not realizing that you’re living by someone elses rules.
I wish more people would realize this.
Success in “defining” one’s self has tremendous repercussions, not just for adults concerned with personal branding, but really starting at a much younger age. My friends who were comfortable in their own skin and had a good sense of who they were at a young age (and I include myself in this group) are the ones who are much happier, much more well-adjusted even as they head off to college. They haven’t done drugs, they haven’t developed drinking habits, and they assert themselves far more maturely and professionally.
People are vulnerable to the influences of others for a very specific reason; peer pressure doesn’t just strike randomly.