Take off the mask: It’s time for you to be you!

God gave you a fingerprint no one else has so you can leave an imprint that no one else can. ~Keith Craft.

The time has come. It’s time for you to be you.

For too many years, I worried what other people would think or where the money would come from or if it would really work or if I really was unique, gifted, talented or even valued.

At some point, though, you have to take off the mask, dump the fear, step out of the rut and just be you. You aren’t on the stage, you aren’t an actor, you don’t have to gin up some character. You can be you and it will be okay. Moreover, once you’re comfortable with it, everyone else will be too!

Problem is, though, that most people today are far more comfortable in someone else’s skin than they are their own. It’s safe, it’s secure, it’s familiar and you can always reason that if it doesn’t work out, you can just be someone else.

When I was in high school and college, I was cast in a variety of roles in musicals and drama. I had a strong voice, projected well and understood the stage. I could walk on stage and easily become another character. But I could also be me on stage and no one else would know it.

My real personality and temperament came out in roles in Oklahoma!, L’il Abner, Bye Bye Birdie, Carousel and other shows. And, audiences loved it. But on Monday, back in the classroom and school setting, I put on the mask again.

Guess what? I’m not alone. People do it every day. You have probably done it. In fact, many of you are doing it even now!

But those days are over. Or at least should be over. It’s time for you to dig out your singular, unique fingerprint and start to leave the mark that no one else can.

Be you, everyone else is taken! “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” ~Judy Garland.

Don’t let the world tell you who you are. Don’t give in to the temptation to try to be someone else. You and God are the only two who can define who you are. Who you are is in your DNA.

Mom and dad may want to live vicariously through you, friends may try to mold you into an image that will let them still stay “above you”, society may try to steal your uniqueness and circumstances may try to prevent you from being who you were designed to be.

You can’t be concerned about what other people say, you just have to be the best you that you can be. You have to become more you every day.

John Mason puts it like this: “You were born an original, don’t die a copy!”

Your goal should be to be more you today than you were yesterday.

If you think people don’t like you and you haven’t been you, they simply haven’t liked the person you thought you were. Hang on, what? Think about it. If you haven’t been you anyway, try out the real you that God created you to be.

It’s time to take you out for a spin. The day has come for you to start celebrating you. There may be such a great change that you have to introduce yourself all over again! That’s okay, have a party and invite everyone over to meet you. The new you!

Now, this doesn’t mean you first and others second. It doesn’t suggest that it’s all about you. Don’t take this as a license for sexual orientation or go out carousing and smoking, drinking or outlandish behavior.

No, this exercise is simply an encouragement to take off the mask, be comfortable with your personality, your calling, your place in life and the person God has called you to be. Don’t compare yourself with others and don’t let others look down on who you are!

Be the best you that you can be, and make no apologies! It’s time for you to be you!

Like what you like, enjoy what you enjoy, do what you do best. It may be a process, but as long as you are more you today than you were yesterday, you’re well on the way to becoming the best you that you can be!

You will find that it’s easier to be you than to be someone else. And you’ll discover the joy of a brand new person who is unique, valued, rare and amazing.

You will be a one and only. Just like your fingerprint!

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