“As long as I do not take myself too seriously I should not be too badly off” – Prince

Because it’s only life, after all ? Right?

What happens when we start taking ourselves too seriously? It becomes all about looking good and doing it right rather than learning new things. The fear of being ridiculed makes our lives mechanical, boring and repetitive. We stop doing what we want, living life, having fun all for the fear of being laughed at.

But where does this all start? When do we go from being care free, fearless children who draw and dance not because they are good at it but because they love doing what they feel like doing to being image conscious adults?

I personally believe it all starts when we allow other people’s expectations to determine how we live, who we should be, which is required to an extent but only to an extent (read worth considering ONLY for some really close relations)but unfortunately most of us, including myself, spend a good part of our lives trying to fit in and meeting people’s expectations and worrying about “log kia kahenge” (What will people say?). We end up taking ourselves too seriously and in turn seek for approval. What we, in essence, do is we voluntarily give people the power to become our judges.

Over time I have realised (though it’s still a work in progress) that your image is not you. It’s just what you show to people, what they perceive about you and funnily everyone perceives differently. You can be a saint in someone’s eyes and a devil in another’s. May be not this extreme but yes you can’t be what everyone wants you to be, you can’t make everyone happy. So, don’t let your self-worth depend on your audience’s applause. When you take this control back, it’s so much easier to take more risks, be courageous or to simply do you.

So, the next time someone asks you to get up and dance, don’t think whether you know how to dance or not, just start swaying or if someone asks you to say a few lines in a crowd don’t worry whether you will say the right thing, whether you have the right accent or the right voice, just let your words flow…

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