Another Kind of Oscar

                                                                                  Oscar Wilde

It’s that time of year when we award people for not being themselves!  They’ve already been given big bucks for pretending to be who they are not.  Now they get to dress up and the actors who were able to be MOST like someone else get the Academy Award Oscar (and even more money to come).

The two “Oscars” certainly don’t see eye to eye.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I really like what Oscar Wilde said.  Very catchy.  Very memorable.  

BUT I think Oscar W. actually missed the real point:

Even if we are trying to emulate or copy someone else – that IS who we are, a copy-cat.  Right?

Even if we are out-spoken with certain people and watch what we say with others – that IS who we are,  changing to meet ta certain situation.  Right?

  • When we say “Just be yourself” we are actually saying “Be better than who you are because I don’t care for who you are” or
  • When we say “Just be yourself” we are actually saying, “Be different from who you are”. or
  • When we say “Just be yourself” we are actually saying, “I have a different standard for you than you have for yourself”

And the Oscar goes to!    

Judith Westerfield for spoiling a great line!

3 thoughts on “Another Kind of Oscar

  1. Hi Max and Judith,
    I am so excited to receive your response to my comment. I did go back to your website after checking out the rest of my mail, so I could take my time and view just what it is you offer. Wow is all I can say. You my friend are amazing.
    Now that I have learned about the two of you I will share some stuff about me.
    I am a 3 time cancer survivor of lung cancer. I never smoked so obviously I am a victim of second hand smoke. My husband (of 43 years) has never smoked as long as we have been together, however my parents were smokeaholic’s. When I reached the age of 52 I was first diagnosed. I was told that it was late stage 4. Feel free to check out my blog at the following:
    Before all of this happened…I was married to my high school sweetheart. We have two adult children, Staci and Scott, 3 granddaughters (our sons’ children).
    After our children came into this world, I had what I thought was a onetime event of a DVT in my right leg. Little did I know what was to come? Over the next 30 years I had survived over 2000 DVT’s. The doctors were unable to give me diagnoses for this problem. I also should say that during this time I had 2 heart attacks 3 strokes, 3 pulmonary embolisms. Finally in 1995 I had my first of 3 diagnoses. We found out I had Protein S defiance. The rest of the diagnoses came in 2000 when the new Hematologist discovered I had Sticky Platelet Syndrome, along with abnormal clotting hydrogen
    As you can tell from all of the above I also suffer from chronic pain. That is what caught my attention when I saw the new discussion. I was really interested and when I first saw the reply you received I was mad.
    The absolute nerve of him, to say you should not be there. You go girlfriend.
    I am sure that you will receive more comments and also find an entire group of new people who are truly interested in what it is you have to offer. I know I am.
    Well that is most of what I know about me I am sure there are some thing I left out please check out my Linkedin profile as well as my blog. I am sure that will enlighten you as to my thinking.
    Please give Max an extra treat and a hug from me. I hope to hear from you often. You can reach me at my personal e-mail: or just leave a comment on my blog site.
    It is always good to have a new BFF…we need all we can find.
    Much Love and many Hugs
    Joan Dodson
    “Miracle Mom”


  2. Judith,

    I like it and I get it! In my experience there is an important level – or component – of acceptance of where you or I or a situation is at, and if where I am at is trying to fill someone’s shoes that are “not mine” (Michael Jordan, George Clooney, my Dad or my older brother) then in a funny way filling those shoes are actually my shoes for today.

    In a very similar vein have had clients tell me how down they are at themselves for not accepting a situation or some fact of their life the way it is, after all – they have been taught that they are “supposed to” accept life on life’s terms. What has been helpful in my practice has been to help these clients accept that for today they do not accept life on life’s terms. Accepting where they are at is also life on life’s terms, is it not?

    However, much sadness and frustration comes my way from people who are forever trying to fill the proverbial shoes and “be someone else”. Albert Einstein said that “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” It is not stupid but it is being asked to fill the shoes that do not fit!

    Everyone I have ever met personally has a list of strengths that can be capitalized on and a list of weaknesses that can be strengthened. Most are unaware that if they would just dare to dream they would find that they have it within them to do many things they thought were “not them.” Unfortunately there are so many too, however, who are completely unaware that all people have limits, and so do they.

    Is it true that “you can do anything you set your mind to”? I do not believe so. In the spirit of inspiration and with all the right motives we are taught that we can do anything, but we can’t.

    So when a single client asks the trick to successful dating I may suggest “just be yourself.”

    When another is going to ask for a raise from her boss I may also suggest “just be yourself.”

    Early in my career a senior counselor sat in on one of my groups at the hospital IOP. Afterward he cautioned me “remember to always bring yourself to the session, because if you bring someone else neither of you will be there.” That recipe has worked for me and I freely use it with others. So while I agree that some days “myself” maybe defined as trying to be someone else, ultimately I may be a fish trying to climb a tree – and that is a frustrating place to be.

    Thanks for a great point and for getting my brain rolling this early in the day!

    Shimon Frankel, MSW


  3. Gee, I never thought of “just be yourself” in any of the ways you described. I think it means, “relax, stop worrying, you’re wonderful being who you are, you don’t have to be clever, put on airs, or try to be something you’re not”. Also, I think it means “stop being so self conscious, and focus on others”.


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