I worked at Wilson Sporting Goods for a few years in my twenties. While I was there (less than 2 years) I went from being a temp to supervising the Quality department. At first I temped in payroll, then later took the job that they hired me to do, which was to be an assistant to the HR Director. This director was later fired and the lady who took his place had a heart attack right after she was hired and I stepped up to HR Director until she came back to work. When she came back she learned that the Plant Manager no longer wanted her in her position and instead wanted me to keep the job. Because she had been on a sick leave he could not fire her. So, she did everything in her power to get him fired. It was an ugly scene. When all of this was going down the job came open in Quality and I put my name in for it to remove myself from the situation I was in. Let me just say that early in my working years I got a real lesson in conquering the world and it was very ugly to me. I didn't want any part of it. Things changed for me after that. I learned that it was better to have a job you enjoy, work with people you enjoy and then be able to leave it at the door when you head home, than to try to advance. I cannot always leave it all at the door with the job I have now but I try the best I can. So, I guess you could say that I left my power hungry ways by the wayside long before I turned 30. I am so glad that I did because I have seen what happens to people who never learn this lesson and it's not pretty.
I learned early that who you really are deep inside is way more important than how you appear to others on the outside. It has been a great downfall for some of the people I know who never learned this lesson. You can never have enough, be enough or look good enough to make people think you are a beautiful person unless, you actually are a beautiful person down to the bone. When you are a not being a good person people will see what you are and not what you present to them. The only people who fall for it are other people who are pretending.
If you are living a life where you try your hardest to be what you think everyone wants you to be, you will never be happy. Just stop all of it and just be. Just be you. Like what you like, love who you love, dress the way you like, live the way you like. When you do that, the people who stand by you through it are your real tribe. They are the ones who truly care about you. The ones who fall away, because they don't want people seeing them a certain way because they associate with you, need to fall away. You will finally attracted the people to you that are like you. When you are pretending at life you will magnetize other pretenders. They won't be your people. If you are not truly yourself, how will anyone who is looking for someone just like you, ever find you?
If you have pretended for a long time you probably forgot who you really are. That is where you need to start. Try to remember who you were before you started to pretend. Think on your youth and think about what you liked as a child. Think about all that you see now and what is really important to you. This may be complicated but this will be the one thing that could save your life and your health. Don't fear that people will not like you when they see who you really are. There is a better chance that the people who should like you for who you are, aren't liking you now because they cannot really know you. Release the fear that who you are is not likable. It is unfounded.
EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE is the ANSWER. It's always been the answer and it always will be the only answer.