Being Exactly Who You Are Is Liberating

Some of the best advice my coach ever gave me was to “Just be Ivy, because Ivy’s pretty great”. He told me this during my junior year of college and it has something that has stuck with me ever since.

But even when he told me, I never really knew who Ivy was. My identity was that of a track athlete. My identity was clouded around the idea that I had to be perfect. But along the way, I was finally able to see that my coach was right and that I should just be exactly who I am. I should be who I am because that person is pretty great. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point of being able to be Ivy, but it has been so amazing along the way to find out exactly who I was.

The thing about our identity is that we are more than just one thing. Often we will say that we are a mother, or an employee, or an athlete. But we forget that we are not just one identity. We forget those other peices about us that bring us joy and that add value to the world. I thought I was just a student-athlete, but I forgot that I was a sister and a daughter, a friend, a motivator, a confidant, someone who loved museums and loved art, and someone who enjoys helping others. I forgot because my brain fogged with the need to be perfect and that made me forget. But I am remembering with each passing day of doing this work on my journey, that I am strong, I am capable, I am beautiful, ambitious, outgoing, kind, caring, funny. I could go on and on but at one point in my life, I couldn’t tell you many, if any positive things about me. The biggest accomplishment for me is not putting my entire self-worth into a peice of my identity. I am more than a speaker or a mental health advocate, and I was always more than just an athlete. A d if things don’t go how I envisioned them for my career, it will be okay, because I have taken the time to nurture other parts of me that I know are just as amazing as being a speaker. I didn’t know that when I was an athlete.

I want you to remember that your identity runs much farther and deeper than you know and that you bring so much to this world simply by being you, by being the person you are, the person you were meant to be.

For the first time, I wasn’t afraid to show the world the real me, and how special I am. And it has been so liberating to not hold back and just be me. So don’t hold back. Who you are is enough. Who you are is beautiful and amazing. Don’t hide who you are for the sake of helping others. Those people who don’t like the real you, are not those who should be in your life. Surround yourself with those people who only lift you higher when you are your truest self. I will give you the same advice my coach gave me, just be who you are, and I mean exactly who you are, because who you are is not only pretty great, who you are is amazing and beautiful and who you are is going to go to amazing places and do amazing things in this world.

Show the world exactly who you are. I promise you it is one of the most freeing feelings to say – “watch out world, I am here. I am me. And this is exactly how I want to be”

Xo,

Be Beautifully Simply You

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