Original mosaic 'Don't try to be nice, be real', about finding your own voice, stop people-pleasing. Blog by MaartjedeBoer

Stop people pleasing and just be you!

`Don´t try to be nice, be real`. This line got stuck inside my head as soon as I heard it. It was like hearing my whole life condensed into this one sentence. Or rather, what used to be my life.
Always staying within the lines, doing what was expected of me. Changing colors because someone else did while losing my own in the process. Keeping the peace, often at the expense of myself.
Making myself unimportant and small and, even better, invisible. "Don't mind me; I'll agree with you." And if I don't, I'll keep it to myself. Afraid to stand out. Or rather, afraid to not be liked or loved. I would sooner please others and play nice than be real and myself.
I guess I'm not telling you anything you don't know already, my fellow (ex) people pleasers!
While making this piece called ´Dont try to be nice, be real´ in 2021/2022, I was still transforming from being a pleaser into someone with her own voice. I guess I still am, as these old (we're talking decades here) patterns are not changed overnight. I could almost feel it viscerally, building these lines. Because not too long ago, this was who I was, a 'pleasing-line-follower.'
It was healing to notice the same process happening within this piece and myself, reinforcing each other. Like things really came together, this piece being the statement of finding my own true voice.
That is why I decided this piece needed more than a handful of beautiful lines. It needed character, my character. And you know what? As soon as I started adding my own voice to this piece, it became interesting. It became a story with a deeper meaning. And for me, thát is when things really get interesting. I've never felt this so strongly before as I do with this piece.
And I realized it's the same in life: our voice matters and adds to the mix, just as much as anyone else's. And our voices make this world a much more exciting place. When we don't speak up, we rob the world of something valuable. We all have a story to tell. Own it and just be you, that is enough. I'm sure gonna.

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