"WTF?" you say.  What has taking a gate got to do with being yourself?

Here in the wide brown land of Oz, we have a throwaway phrase, a one-liner, that goes, "Don't take offence, take a gate instead, it's easier to lift and carry."  If some of you still don't get it, it comes down to how we pronounce "offence" here.  In most of the rest of the world, you'll hear it pronounced "Oh-fence" or "Off-fence".  In Australia, you'll hear it pronounced "Uh-fence" (as in "a fence").

Okay, thanks for the lesson in linguistics and pronunciation, but what the hell does this have to do with being yourself?

As you go through life, and hopefully grow through life, you're going to be told very often, "Just be yourself," if you haven't been told that already.  In being yourself you've got to grow, and in growing, you've got to grow to the point where you don't give a crap what other people think of you.

This doesn't mean going through life with an attitude of "Screw everybody".  It means realizing that as you go through life being yourself, some people are going to like you, a few are going to love you, some more are going to hate you and most of them won't give a damn who you are because they'll never hear of you and therefore never think of you at all.  When you realize that you'll realize then that the world really doesn't revolve around you and if you haven't grown enough on your journey then you might find that your feelings are hurt a little bit.

Here's the thing.  You're not for everyone.  At first, that may seem a little disappointing, but it's actually a good thing because there's just no way you can fit that many people into your life.

The reason I'm saying that is because I just recently learned that I can be perceived as just a little bit conroversial and offensive, or my sense of humour is.  I've always known I'm a little bit that way, but the thing is that I don't deliberately set out to cause offense (most of the time anyway).  Most of the time I'm actually just wanting to make people laugh.

When it was pointed out to me that this was the case, my response in the past would have been to get offended myself and go on the attack.  But this time it was way different.  This time was to calmly accept that my responsibility was to be clear in what I was saying, whether I was trying to be funny or not.  It was up to the other person to accept responsibility for taking offence.  In other words, they chose to be offended and they need to accept the responsibility for it.  I didn't choose to offend them.

I suppose if there's one thing about this whole thing, it's that a good friend was caught in the middle of it and he was upset and offended by the other person taking offence at my comment simply because they didn't know me as well as he does.  Because of that he felt driven to defend me, for which I am incredibly grateful as he is somebody that I respect and admire enormously.

And when that happens that's when you know that what you're doing is worthwhile, and who you are is worthwhile and worthy as a person, because in a way, you're arrousing passion at both ends of the spectrum.  When you do that, that's when the world starts to know who you are.

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    G'day everyone.  I'm an Aussie Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotist (www.americanallianceofhypnotists.org)  and author with a passion for making every relationship in our lives the best it can be.   I work at local, state, national and international levels.  I am also a Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy practitioner trained by Eugene Piccinotti TFT - dx, and I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner Level (MNLP) under Steve G Jones at the American University of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
    (http://www.aunlp.org).  In other words, as a coach, I'll use whatever I have to use to help you to make the changes you want to make.