You are the only one of you. Nobody knows what it’s like to be you. Nobody else can feel what you feel. You have a unique perspective, upbringing, and story. And you’re actually an endangered species – what will we do when we lose you? The world will be a sadder place because suddenly we will no longer have the chance to explore what is inside your mind – that seemingly infinite space where anything is possible.

You have your own unique story. Your story will connect with different people than mine, and you can use your unique experiences in whatever ways you choose. That’s quite a privilege, in a way. Don’t lose yourself in wishing you were someone else. You really need to spend some time getting to know and love yourself, understand your faults and quirks, accept your flaws, and start to see the great things you have to offer the world.

You’ll see echoes of yourself in other people. That’s great! It’s meant to be reassuring you that you are not alone. Don’t make the mistake of asking that your destiny will be the same as theirs though. Just because you’re a little bit like someone, and they either get themselves into trouble, or get laughably rich, that doesn’t mean that you will do the same. You can learn from them, but you can’t be them. You’re you.

Similarly, you will see people who don’t suffer from your character flaws, or who have things you want. You may yearn to be them, or have their life. Sorry! You can’t. You can learn from them too – but you can’t change your history, your body, your personality – and you may even find that you wouldn’t want to if you could. You are you. And the sooner you realise this, the sooner you can be at peace.

Being authentically yourself is very important – but really hard to define. How do you know who you are? How do you know when you’re becoming a better version of yourself, or when you’re trying to be someone else? And how can you know that the real you will be well received anyway?

Well, you don’t know, but we tend to relate better to real people than we do to people who are putting on a mask. When someone shares their story from the heart, it connects with people. Your uniqueness is one of your greatest assets, but because you’re unique, it can be hard to see where you fit. Harder but not impossible. Groups need a mix of people to operate well. Too many similar personalities can also make people unsure of where they fit – you don’t need me if someone else is already playing my part.

You can’t stop being you. You might as well get used to it – and out how to use your uniqueness to your advantage instead of letting it make you feel isolated.