Be yourself is a phrase that is quite possibly the most commonly used phrase in the history of advice. Be yourself. It’s such a vague adage. What do they really mean when they tell you to be yourself? And is it really as easy as it sounds?
Find yourself and define yourself on your terms. 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. Yet, you can’t be yourself if you don’t know, understand, and accept yourself first. It should be your primary goal to find this out. Find the time to dwell upon what you value and take time to consider what makes up the essence of who you really are.
Avoid fixating on the past and not letting yourself grow. One of the most unhealthy approaches to being oneself is to make a decision that who you are is not defined by a moment or period of time. Allow yourself this space to grow, to improve, to become wiser. And allow yourself to forgive past errors and past behaviors you’re not so proud of. Work on accepting the mistakes and choices you’ve made; they’re done and in the past. You had your reasons for them and the decision made sense at the time, so instead of harnessing yourself to past mistakes, allow yourself to learn their lessons and continue to grow. Growth into every new age and stage of our lives is an essential part of being true to ourselves and to being emotionally healthy and whole.
Please, I beg of you to stop caring about how people perceive you. Some of them will like you and some of them won’t. Either attitude is as likely to be right or wrong. It’s next-to-impossible to be yourself when you’re caught up in constantly wondering “Do they think I’m funny? Does she think I’m fat? Do they think I’m stupid? Am I good/clever/popular enough to be a part of their group of friends?” To be yourself, you’ve got to let go of these concerns and just let your behavior flow, with only your consideration of others as a filter — not their consideration of you. Besides, if you change yourself for one person or group, another person or group may not like you, and you could go on forever in a vicious cycle trying to please people instead of focusing on building up your talents and strengths; being a people-pleaser or always wanting everyone’s love and respect is a totally pointless exercise in the end that can harm your personal development and confidence. Who cares what other people say? As Eleanor Roosevelt said once, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” and what matters most is that you listen to your own inner confidence and if it’s missing, that you start developing it!
Be honest and open. What do you have to hide? We’re all imperfect, growing, learning human beings. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourself — and you feel that you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionally — then you have to come to terms with that and learn to convert your so-called flaws into individualistic quirks or simply as basic, down-to-earth acknowledgments of your own imperfections. Be honest with yourself, but don’t beat yourself up; apply this philosophy to others, as well. There is a difference between being critical and being honest; learn to watch the way you say things to yourself and others when being honest.
Relax. Stop worrying about the worst that could happen, especially in social situations. So what if you fall flat on your face? Or get spinach stuck in your teeth? Or accidentally head butt your date when leaning in for a kiss? Learn to laugh at yourself both when it happens and afterward. Turn it into a funny story that you can share with others. It lets them know that you’re not perfect and makes you feel more at ease, too. It’s also an attractive quality for someone to be able to laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously!
Treat yourself as you’d treat your own parents, siblings, & best friend. You value your family, friends and those close to you right? Give yourself the same kind, thoughtful, and respectful treatment that you give to other people you care about. If you had to hang out with yourself for a day, what is the most fun/enjoyable/fulfilled/calm/contented type of person you could be, while still being yourself? What is the best version of you? Be responsible for yourself and for boosting your self-esteem. If others aren’t telling you you’re great, don’t let it get to you. Instead, tell yourself you’re special, wonderful, and worthwhile. When you believe these things about yourself, others will recognize that glow of self-confidence and begin confirming your self-affirmations in no time!
Develop and express your individuality. Whether it’s your sense of style, or even your manner of speaking, if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream and produces positive outcomes, then be proud of it. Be a character, not a type. Learn to communicate well – the better you can express yourself, the easier it is for the people who like you as you are to find you and the ones who don’t to just steer clear.
Stop comparing yourself to others. If you’re always striving to be someone you’re not already, you’ll never be a happy person. Avoid being unfair to yourself. Sometimes comparison causes us to compare apples with pears. We’d like to be a top movie producer in Hollywood when we’re a lowly, aspiring scriptwriter. To see that top producer’s lifestyle and find yourself wanting as a result is an unfair comparison – that person has years of experience and hobnobbing behind them, while you’re just starting out, testing the waters with writing skills that may one day prove to be exceptional. Be realistic in your comparisons and only look to other people as inspiration and as sources of motivation, not as a means to belittling yourself.
Follow your own style. The common thing a lot of people do is copy others’ actions because it seems like the better route to fit in, but really, shouldn’t you stand out? Standing out is very hard at times but you need to try avoid assuming other people’s perspectives of you, even if it’s not something you would normally do; that’s what being yourself is all about. Maybe you like to sit outside on the deck under an umbrella in the middle of the rain, maybe you have different ideas of things, rather than other people, maybe you like strawberry cake instead of the common chocolate cake, whatever you are, accept it. Being different is absolutely beautiful and it attracts people to you. Don’t let people change you!
Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and that some days you are the statue. People might raise eyebrows and even make fun of you on your pigeon days but as long as you can remain being true to yourself on those days people will ultimately respect you for it, and you’ll respect yourself. Yes, sometimes it will hurt when you’re being judged, teased, or emotionally picked apart on your bad days do your self a favor & learn to ignore it. While this can be very difficult, and far easier said than done, try your best to just brush it off your shoulders like Jay~Z says. Enjoy the rest of your day 😊. ~One Love❤