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Real Is Rare & A Link-Up

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

Be yourself.

How vague is that.


Be yourself – quite possibly the most commonly used phrase in the history of individualist-based advice.  Be yourself.  What does it even mean, to be yourself?  And is it really as easy as it sounds?  Oscar Wilde once said with his usual wit, Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. As humorous as this might seem, it’s a basic summation of the truth.  I mean, how could you possibly be yourself if (1) you don’t know who you are; and (2) you don’t accept yourself the way you are.  Agreed?

Find yourself and define yourself on your terms.

Let me (attempt to) do that.  Here and now.

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesReal Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesReal Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

The first thing that comes to mind is I need to decipher what it is that I value.  Since that will help me piece together which attributes make me, me.  I suppose one way is to review choices I’ve made, and roads I’ve travelled.  The things I would do in a heartbeat, and things that I wouldn’t.  All of which have, in some shape or form, defined me over the years.

Defined me, but based on my own terms.  Terms I’m absolutely comfortable with.  And while I may have felt self-conscious in the beginning, over time (and with age, ahem), it got easier.  Being in the company of those who accepted me, helped.

And, in determining my values, to understand it’s quite alright if some of them appear at odds.  Being human, my values are derived from a myriad of sources and influences, including (but not limited to) culture, religion, experiences, role models.  It’s all part of being a multi-faceted person.  One which can’t be categorised or pigeon-holed (I can live with that).  The key thing is I hold onto what feels most true to me, and only me.

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesReal Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesReal Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes


I’ve done so many things in the past that I’m really not very proud of, and wish I could undo.  But it’s one thing to regret, and quite another to fixate on things I can’t change.  What’s done is done.  And whenever I stop believing in these words, I look at those who proudly proclaim they’re no different from when they were, say, 18 or 21 or 30.  More often than not, these people are, in reality, very unhappy. They’re so busy insisting nothing has changed that they’re incapable of taking on new ideas, learning from others, from growing.

Realising that growth into every new age and phase of my life is a pivotal part of being true to myself, and to being emotionally healthy and whole.  It also helps me in identifying my strengths.  Yes, as with many things, these may change given the passage of time (and, with it, my definition of myself) but I’m constantly re-evaluating and re-assessing.  My strengths are my anchors.  They help me not compare myself less with others.

I’m sure we all know how evil comparison is.  It leads to resentment.  Self-criticism.  Low(er) self-esteem.  Comparison is the mother of all slippery slopes, don’t you think?

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesReal Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

I do think know that once I stop comparing myself with others, I’m one step closer to self-acceptance.  Once I learn to like me for who I am, flaws et al, I stop running away from the person I’m meant to be.  I’ll also stop caring about how people think of me.

Whether they like me or not.  I mean, some will, and some invariably won’t.  It’s impossible to be myself if I’m always wondering, “Do they think I’m funny?  Does she think I’m fat??  What if they think I’m dumb?  Am I good/clever/popular enough to be a part of this clique?

Consideration of others is important, yes, but not their consideration of me.

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

That also means no Mrs Yes Woman all the time.

And more of treating myself like I’m my own best friend.  Seriously.  Acting kind and thoughtful and respectful to myself all the time, not cruel and mean and disparaging.  Taking ownership of boosting my self-confidence and ego, you know?

Keep standing out, even when it gets really hard, and accept that I’ll always be different.  I’ll always be out of the box.

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

Doing my own thing.  And keeping holding my head up high while doing it.

Remember this.  Real is rare.  Real is precious.  Stay true to yourself.  Be yourself.  And only yourself.  Everyone else is taken.  Really, really.

I’m doing something a little different today, and teaming up with Rachel of Garay Treasures to co-host Tuesday’s “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me” Link-Up.  When it comes to being real and authentic, there isn’t quite anyone else who fits the bill like this lady.  She has such a beautiful soul and this filters through everything she shares.  But, you know, I wouldn’t just take my word for it.  Go on, head over to the blog and read her posts.  I know you’ll be a fan, like I am.

Rachel of Garay Treasures:-

Garay's Treasures

Rachel is a former full time preschool special education teacher turned full time stay-at-home mum of four children with a passion for substitute teaching and blogging at Garay Treasures on the side.  Garay Treasures is a fashion and lifestyle blog with some added posts on faith and everyday treasures.  Rachel loves drinking several cups of coffee a day (hot or iced), blogging, reading, and playing with her children. You can follow her on Bloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Me, your Co-Host Sheela of Sheela Writes:-

Real Is Rare & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

Hello there, my name is Sheela. Born and bred in Borneo, I’ve been writing since the age of 7 (heavens, that’s four decades now). In the “real world”, I develop brand/communications strategies for a managed security service provider. I know, completely unexpected, and quite the opposite of what you see on sheelagoh.com, huh? When I’m not poring over words, I collect antique books, work out, and cook. I’m also rather infatuated with true crime, be it from a literary perspective or watching it on the telly. Oh and every Friday, I host something near and dear to my heart, the Project Sister Act Link-Up (it advocates the mindset that dressing one’s age is absolute pish posh), and I’d love for you to come join in.

You can follow Sheela through the following social media channels: Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest

Now on to the Featured 5 from last week:-


Sophia looked amazing. Perfect look and location for shots. See post here.

download (1)

I’ve a thing for the chambray dresses, here’s one from Johanna’s post.

Pink Blush Dress Full

Maternity dresses keep getting cuter as Shea shares in this post.

#Nsale Staple Tunic (4)

This tunic styled over shorts is fun, from Lee.

The World According To Eve

I love Eve’s flat layout art in this particular post. Very creative!

Now it’s your turn, please follow the rules below and enjoy!

1). Please link up recent posts and include the link-up button or post this URL link back on your blog.  The posts can be about fashion, DIY projects, recipes, inspiration, tips, etc.

2). Please follow your hosts: Rachel of Garay Treasures either by Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or Sheela of sheelagoh.com either on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

3). Stop by and check out the other bloggers who have linked-up and be inspired.

4). Have fun! Comment below if you have any questions! Thanks for linking-up!

An InLinkz Link-up

Love, Sheela

Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps. 

Pretty please?

p/s my photos by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.



  1. Thanks for the reminder to keep it real in this un-real world of social media!!!

    I’m excited to start a two-peat collaboration with Los Angeles-based brand TOBI this week at the blog via a sexy outfit – come check it out & lemme know what you think!

    Happy Tuesday!



  2. Jess says

    Hi Sheela
    I truly enjoyed reading this, as it seems such a easy statement-to be yourself. I know when I was in the early 20s/teens I had a very difficult time always wanting to please others, do what makes them happy. Comparing oneself, especially at an early age is so detrimental! I love that Oscar Wilde quote and have found much comfort with who I am at this stage of my life. I find it to be a lot less stressful as well! Very insightful! I too, think to dwell on the past, can make it difficult to move forward. We learn from choices and mistakes, right?
    I love you showing who you are in pictures as well. The dress is so summery, flowing pretty. Love the bare feet , now that is very natural, perfect for the pic!
    jess xx


  3. Stunning and beautiful you. I love the freedom of expression of yourself in these photos and in valuing yourself through the things you have gone through to how you see yourself through your influences and those who love you. About 6 years ago I was trying so hard to fit into my sister-in-laws group, with her and her friends. I told her and the friends that I had bitterness that they weren’t including me and to forgive me but to tell me why they couldn’t accept me (which took guts) and they all told me to “Be myself” and it took years to realize what that meant. At the time it hurt my feelings because I didn’t know myself as I wanted to conform, be liked and valued by them. Years later, I know who I am and I still didn’t give up reaching out. Now I can say we are good. Thank you for making me think back to this time and how far I have come.
    Rachel xo
    ps-thanks for co-hosting.


  4. robjodiefilogomo says

    I’ve heard that saying a lot—(be yourself, everyone else is taken), and what you expound upon is so true. How do you even know who you are when you’re young without all the experiences of life!
    Thus there’s a huge positive of getting older! All the negative of aging is only skin deep. I always say I’d never go back to a younger age (even if my skin was better—heck I didn’t even appreciate it and wanted to be different,—silliness)!
    Loving who we are is the best ever—it stops all the trivial matters and makes us concentrate on the important things—the good people in our lives and helping others (and having fun—can’t forget that!!)
    So have a fabulous day—you deserve it!


  5. What a beautifully written post. I love what you said about the importance of forgiving yourself, that can be so hard, yet it’s so important. Oh, and the comparison game too–so hard to avoid, but I try. Anyway, you look gorgeous in that pretty dress, thanks for sharing!


  6. Ever wise, ever insightful, ever honest – I love your words and you dearest Sheela. Thanks for yet another sound post. Thanks too for sharing these shots of you looking pared down, natural and beautiful. I love the simple version of you without the bling and razzle dazzle – it resonates with your words today.
    Anna x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. you have such a wonderful style of writing, and I could relate to nearly everything you wrote in this post. its so strange that in some way or the other we are always trying to change ourselves to be more like the people we love or admire. i know i am. sometimes i fear that i am just an amalgamation of the parts i consider the best in other people. when i read an inspiring and encouraging post like yours i feel more motivated to just embrace my natural weirdness and stand up for my principles and just you know, be me; but its easier said than done in day to day life when a snide remark or a judgemental look is enough to make you think ‘damn, maybe i should just shut up and blend in’. one step at a time, i guess?


  8. Hi Sheela, I just loved your post! It is so important to be real to yourself. The adage “If I knew then what I know now” comes to mind here. At 54 I’ve only begun to explore who I am. I finally like myself and have always walked to the beat of my own drum. I just wish I knew myself then like I know myself now … it would have saved a lot of hurt and angst. Thank you so much for sharing with us at #SimplifyWednesdays I look forward to what you share next week! Pinned, Tweeted, Shared


  9. shelbeeontheedge1 says

    Absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous. You. This post. Your message. Everything you stand for. On your own two beautiful bare feet. I feel fortunate to be able to say that I have left regrets behind many years ago and have accepted my past and the path I have traveled to be so authentically part of who I am that it is unnatural to feel bad about any of it…even the bad stuff. So this is me. All of it. The dark, the dirt, the shit. But also the light, the clean, and the supremely happy. Thank you for another amazing post!



  10. I think being yourself gets easier in a way as we are getting older. I probably didn’t really understand the phrase until I was in my 30s… I was so focused on always pleasing everyone around me (something I’m still working on NOT doing, but it’s getting better little by little…).

    I always love your thought-provoking posts and beautiful photos!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes


  11. Loved this post Sheela. I completely agree that you can’t be yourself unless you have found yourself, have come to know yourself through life’s experience and realising what your views and opinions are. Another word that is being bandied about an great deal at the moment is ‘authentic’ but of course, that’s often used as a cover up, a layer, a veneer, especially in marketing. So difficult to scrape away the layers to find true authenticity.
    And I agree with Andrea being yourself I think gets easier the older you get. I’ve certainly realised what I am and am not prepared to put up with, settle for, fight for, compromise over etc… And people who are out of the box are far more interesting that people clamouring to be like everyone else.
    I so adore that last photo of you against the tree – beautiful.



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