A lot of people think they need to change who they are in order to be happy. 

They have an image of the person they feel they are meant to be, and all too often that person is a direct opposite of who they are. 

I also used to be like that. 

However what I learnt is you don’t need to change who you are. Instead it’s better to discover what makes you tick. What makes you happy, what makes you sad. What gives you energy and what robs you of it.

It’s about learning who you are and accepting that person.
I have a friend who I love dearly. 

She is so different from me. She’s not a planner. She is someone who just goes with the flow and always seems to be happy and filled with energy for life.

I thought I needed to be more like her. Why?
I assumed the reason she was full of energy for life and always seemed happy was because she didn’t plan. So in my mind: Going with the flow = having a really fun life.

I tried to be more of a ‘go with the flow’ type of person, but it didn’t really work for me. I didn’t find myself having more fun, I actually felt more stressed. 

So who am I?
A particular situation made me discover more about who I am, and what makes me tick.

As a surprise my husband bought me and a few of my girlfriends last minute tickets to a festival that was happening the next day. 

When he called me to tell me, my first reaction was panic. It’s tomorrow, I’m not prepared, I need more time. I was actually a bit annoyed he had done this to me. This all went through my head. 

As the hours went by and I adjusted to the idea that I would be out the next day, I began to look forward to the festival and of course I had a great day. 

What was my takeaway from this?
Planning and being organised makes me happy, I don’t like last minute changes and I’m finally ok with this. I know this works for me and it actually makes me happier in my life. 

I’m ok with the fact that I like to plan things, I like to know what I’m doing. It makes me feel happy and it gives me energy. 

I kid you not, writing a to-do list honestly makes me so happy. I love seeing everything planned out and organized. It gives me energy, just writing about planning gives me excited tingles in my stomach. So why would I want to change that?

It took me a long time to understand what brings me joy and energy in my life. Now I know what they are, I realise I don’t need to change who I am, instead I just need to accept it and work with it. 

I let go of the image I had in my head of who I was meant to be. Because I know who I am and I really like me. 

So do we ever need to change?
The only time we think about changing how we act is if it’s making us unhappy. If my need to be organised would start to hinder my happiness, then I would want to look at that. 

It wouldn’t mean changing everything, but rather working out how to deal with certain situations in a more positive way. And that is something I have worked on. 

I used to spiral when events would change, I’d panic and get nervous, but now I know more about who I am and how I operate, I am able to use tools to help me. I know my initial reaction will be one of panic, but I also know that within an hour I will be fine. So I make sure to wait an hour before I allow myself to get emotional. This has worked wonders for me and saved many unnecessary heated conversations! 

Rather than looking externally to who you ‘think you should be’. Start asking yourself ‘what gives me energy and makes me happy’ and then start to embrace that! 

You don’t need to fight who you are. There is an amazing upside to who you are, you just have to find it. 

And if you are struggling to find that upside, contact me! alice@alicegraves.com I’d love to hear from you.

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