Who has seen The Greatest Showman? If you have then you’re familiar with the song that shares the title of this blog post. Or, if you missed the movie, you may have watched as Keala Settle performed “This Is Me” at this year’s Academy Awards.
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, click here and listen closely to the lyrics. Now, listen again … and again. Does this song resonate with you? If so, which lines moved you the most – and why?
When we first saw The Greatest Showman several weeks ago, we loved it and the music – so much so that we downloaded the soundtrack on the way to the car as we left the theater. We’ve since spoken to several others that also downloaded this soundtrack as soon as the movie ended. It’s just one of those rousing movies that, for some reason, stirs something inside us. Why do you think that is? What is it about this song, this movie, its message that moves so many of us?
Perhaps it’s because, deep down, many of us can relate to having been marginalized, excluded, or alienated at some point in our lives – perhaps some of you feel like that now. If so, then you know very well the deep pain of the disdainful looks and disparaging comments from condescending folks that simply don’t “get it.” And you’ve been fighting to stand out, be acknowledged, and be known for who you are – not who the world wants you to be.
And then along comes a movie with a song that contains lyrics like these:
“I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ‘cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me!”
Often this world can be such a harsh place if we don’t fit the perfect model of what we are supposed to look like, act like, and succeed like. No wonder so many of us are constantly keeping up with the Joneses.
We get it. We really do. But here’s the deal. For some of us, our biggest accuser, discourager, and naysayer is none other than ourselves and, if we take a good hard look in the mirror and are honest, we know this to be true.
We are not discounting the fact that many folks, even entire groups and cultures, are disparaged and discriminated against simply because of who they are. As shameful as that is it still happens way too often.
What we are saying, and we wrote about in our book, Who Are the Joneses Anyway?, is that too many of us are harder on ourselves than the outside world is. And, as a way of trying to become someone we think we should be, we engage in all sorts of unhealthy habits that have a common denominator called keeping up with the Joneses – or seeking to look, act, and live the way others do, hoping that this will help us at last fit in.
Who says you have to become someone other than who you are? We would argue that the foundation of discovering greater joy, impact, and balance in your lives is discovering who you are and living confidently knowing that. Do not think for even a minute you are any less a person just because others’ condescending eyes try to make you believe you are.
If you’ve learned, from yourself or others, to be ashamed of who you are, take a cue from the song “This Is Me:”
“Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ‘cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun …
I won’t let them break me down to dust”
Move beyond hope and into a life of courageously expecting greater things than you ever imagined.
Blessings on your continuing journey,
Bob and Susan Karcher
Authors | Speakers | Coaches