A new year means New Year’s resolutions. It means looking back on what you did previously and thinking about how you’ll do it better this time around. Years are the main unit of measure of our lifespans. Each one that passes is a milestone that we celebrate and a point for reflection on the past.

I’ve thought of many things that I want to do this year but there is one that I think is the most important:

This year, I want to stand for myself.

I’ve recollected the various interactions I’ve had with people in my day to day life, from complete strangers to acquaintances to good friends, and there’s one thing I’ve noticed: I’ve made my personality itself incredibly malleable. This isn’t entirely wrong. After all, if you know and believe that you’re in the wrong, it would be silly to continue that way just to be consistent. But I can’t always be wrong, can I?

I think that my desire to be accepted has sometimes led me to compromise my personality a bit too much. I bend to what I believe that others expect of me, even when I don’t entirely agree or like what I become in the process. Or more often (and worse!), I shy away from doing things because everything I do carries with it the risk of losing the acceptance of some person or another in my life. The problem with this is that by trying to be everything, I become nothing in particular. I become flat and boring, nothing special or particular to note.

In 2010, I worked on building my self-esteem. I’ve made some great progress but before I can say I truly believe in myself, I must be willing to be myself everywhere and to everyone, always. I’ve learned some things in the last year and this is one of them:

Being accepted is not the same as being liked.

So it’s about time that I stopped apologizing for being myself and start being truly genuine. I want to let people taste my true flavour and let them react as they will. I can’t be liked by everybody — I can’t even be accepted by everybody — but I want to seek those who will like me for being me and who I genuinely like for being them. I want to form deeper connections with people I care about and who care about me. I want to share what I am with others and let them share what they are with me.

I’m working on that this year.