There are some jerseys that are absolute international symbols. Some jerseys are so well known that a color combination can spark the association. People do not need to search for the things that they value most, they jump right out of the crowd.
Therefore it is in your best interest to put on your uniform. Not that you wear the shirt of your team everywhere but rather that you put your truest self out on display. There are two people living inside of you. The person that you are and the person that you want to be. Although I’m a huge fan “fake it ‘til you make it”, let’s start with getting comfortable in your own skin. This does not happen in a day. If you’re there already, AWESOME! Rejoice in that fact because it’s not true for everyone.
If you’re not there yet, then there is one place to start: the first person. There is only one person that will be with you for your entire life, every second that you’re alive, no matter what you can never get rid of them. That person is you. You can complain about your disadvantages or idolize someone else but no matter what you can only be you. Since you only have this one person to spend your life with, it makes sense to have them be a friend. You need to treat yourself well. This goes back to all of the things that have been covered so far. Your chances of feeling good about yourself are exponentially better if you’ve taken control of your internal dialogue and the things that you focus on. BUT WAIT A MINUTE! This section was titled, Put on the Jersey. Jerseys are an outward expression of who you are. You’re absolutely right! But the things that we project on the outside are often a representation of what we’re feeling on the inside. So we need to start there.
Some practical advice on making yourself more of a friend. Think of the things that you would do to let a friend know that you like them.
• You’d spend time with them (meditation)
• You’d make them a priority (journaling)
• If they’re going through a tough time, you’d console and try to help them (journaling)
• You’d let the little things go (post-it notes of forgiveness)
• You’d try to work through the big things (letters of forgiveness)
This sounds kind of weird when you consider doing these things for yourself. So it takes a bit of deliberate practice. My suggestions on activities usually involve writing because it is tangible and requires a bit of focus. Thinking is great but lends itself toward the mind wandering. So putting things down on paper forces you to organize your thoughts a bit more. As daily as possible, write down gratitude statements. Write as many things that you can think of that you’re thankful for. This exercise gets you to focus on what you have. It’s much like brushing your teeth. Doing it once does almost nothing. When you make it a practice, then it becomes extremely powerful. This type of journaling mixed with a daily discussion of your thoughts will take you a long way down the road of befriending yourself which is the entire point.
Once you’ve gotten more comfortable with the inside world, you’ll be in a better position to project the traits that you want into the outside world. Who do you choose to be? What is the story that you tell yourself about yourself? Personally I refer to myself as the “Sword of Gryffindor”. I show up when the people who matter need help and I am improved by the things that have the potential to damage me. This is the story that I’ve created for myself and the one that I do my best to project out into the world.