“Man, I’m just being me.”
If you’ve participated in sports on any level you’ve likely heard that phrase.
Typically it’s from the guy who just bricked a fade-a-way 3-point shot while being double teamed or from the kid who completely missed the bunt signal and popped out to end the inning.
Typically it’s being used an excuse for some selfish behavior that’s ticked off several other people and often, if continued, leads to many a evening of not getting invited to the after-party at Chili’s.
It’s not just in the sports world either. Surely you’ve heard plenty of your friends, co-workers, and family members say, “Ah, that’s just who I am,” to justify some bad habit.
Heck, maybe you’ve even done it yourself. Lord knows I have.
“Yes, I ate an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch this afternoon, but I mean, that’s just who I am.”
Don’t get me wrong, in general being yourself is a good thing and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encouraged people to just be themselves.
But maybe “be yourself” is not an accurate projection of what I’m really advising my friends to do. Maybe instead of telling folks to “be yourself,” I should be telling them to, “be honest, genuine, and transparent.”
I mean that’s what I really mean when I say “be yourself” and that’s what I am really aiming for when I strive to “be myself.”
I’ll be honest, some days it probably isn’t a real good idea for me to just “be me” because some days, I just flat out suck.
Some days I’m rude. Some days I’m selfish.
Some days Most days I’m lazy.
Those are days when “me being me” isn’t very productive for me or anyone else and if I’m being honest, genuine, and transparent, I should be able to admit that’s me and hopefully make efforts to change.
It’s interesting that of all the things Jesus told folks to do, he never advised them to just be themselves.
Instead, he was all about encouraging them to be better than themselves. Not someone entirely different. Not someone with completely different passions or desires. Just an upgraded version of the person God made them.
So maybe instead “being ourselves” and using that to write off some bad and/or annoying habits, we should strive to be the better us.
Maybe instead of “me being me,” it should be, “me being the me who doesn’t suck. Me being me 2.0.”
Everyone likes an upgrade, right?