Do you remember when you were little, a lot of the time you were playing you were pretending to be someone else? You may have played house where you were the mommy or school where you were the teacher or played airplane where you were the flight attendant… well you get the picture. As crazy as it sounds, all of this pretending was helping you to figure out who you were going to be. Not what you wanted to do, but who you were going to be! Isn’t it funny that pretending to be someone else was helping you to NOT pretend to be anyone else in the future? Makes your head spin, right?!
Seriously, there is a part of your brain that works at creating who you truly are instead of who you pretend to be. When you’re in middle school and high school this part of your brain is going crazy sorting information. Without you knowing it, your brain is constantly deciding and re-deciding who you are. Your relationships with your parents, siblings and friends all are part of this decision process. Sooooo, it’s really important to hang out with people who will help you and your brain make good decisions!
Sometimes we are put in a situation where we feel like we need to act like the people around us. Have you ever acted like you liked or didn’t like something just to fit in with a particular group of friends? We all have. Sometimes pretending to like or not like something new will make you feel uncomfortable. If you find that you are acting in a way that doesn’t feel “right” to you, this is your first clue that you are pretending to be someone else. That part of your brain that is figuring out who you are is sending you a message!!
The opposite can also be true. Sometimes you can pretend to like something, like maybe sports, and will find out that it is actually something you do like – maybe even a lot!! Just like when you were little, pretending can also help you learn more about yourself.
Being best at being you is something you are still figuring out. You are learning all there is to you. If you are uncomfortable, think about if this is who you truly want to be. At the same time, celebrate every time you learn something new about yourself. You are discovering your best and only you!