Anne Lamott, a brilliant person and writer, wrote an article for O Magazine a few years ago and talked about how to become the person you were meant to be. Something she said in the article has stuck with me through the years. She said, “To become the person you were meant to be, first, you must gently stop being who you aren’t.” I told you she was brilliant! If you haven’t read any of her books, stop what you’re doing and go get one! Wait, don’t stop reading my article…I didn’t mean that! But after you’ve finished, go straight to the library, bookstore or Amazon to check her out! Seriously though, that’s great advice she gives. STOP being the version of you that doesn’t feel true for you. You know that version, right? The one that says “Yes” when you really want to say “No.” Or the one that joins in on the gossipy conversation with friends or coworkers for fear of being seen as a goody-two-shoes or an outcast if you don’t. Maybe it’s the one that stays when she knows, really knows, that it’s time to go. That’s the one. That’s the one that you can stop being and when you do, you’ll move much closer to the person you were meant to be. The person you truly ache to be. If you stopped being who you are not, how would that change your life? Would it change at all? For me, when I took that advice and stopped being who I wasn’t my world changed. A lot. And every single thing that changed was for the good. I’m not saying it was all easy because it wasn’t. But I am saying it was all for the good and I am so glad I found the courage to stop being the many versions of me that kept the real me, the best me, hidden within myself. And speaking of being hidden within oneself…Do you know what the great Renaissance Artist, Michelangelo, said about his work to create the magnificent sculpture of David? He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “David was inside of the block of marble, all I did was remove all that wasn’t David.” He also said and I quote, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Whoaa! From two very different sources, the same question seems to be hitting you right in the noggin, doesn’t it? What if you stopped being who you aren’t and set yourself free to become who you were meant to be? What if you allowed yourself the freedom to become the person you most want to be? Close your eyes and just imagine. Don’t try to figure out all the details of how to make it happen right now, or try to answer the question, “what will they think?” Just go in your mind to a place where you are living a life that feels true to you. You are living with purpose and joy and you honor your values and your priorities. You give with a full heart and when you say “No,” there is no guilt because you know that your “No” gives you the space to say “Yes” to something else. Really allow the thoughts of living that life to fill you up for a few moments. Does it feel like freedom? Does it make you smile? Does it feel like love? Does it give you energy? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I encourage you to continue thinking about setting yourself free to become the person you most want to be…That real and magnificent you that’s hidden within yourself and aching to be set free. Will you stop being who you are not and set yourself free to become who you are meant to be? If you’d like to leave a comment or share this article, by all means, do!