Ever had somebody tell you to “just be yourself?”. It sure sounds like a great thing to do, but what exactly does that mean and how do you do it? The true self is the one not covered or hidden by stories, labels or judgments that we have placed on ourselves or adopted from others. It is who we are when the doors close and the curtains fall. In order to understand who you truly are, you must understand who you are not. All the things you have learned about yourself must be unlearned. You will be a much happier person when you know just who you are and how to always be that person.

The Importance of Always Being Yourself

When you begin to change things about yourself to please others, you lose a sense of who you are. All through our lives we tend to try to fit the norm, and in the process, we become someone we are not. Sometimes we may not even realize that we are becoming someone else. It is important to make sure you are pleasing yourself and that you are happy with yourself. When we focus too hard on being something we’re not, it can often lead to stress and disappointment. When prolonged, you can become depressed with all the requirements you are trying to measure up to. You could feel drained and tired by exerting so much energy to be someone you’re not. Wouldn’t it just be easier to be yourself? It’s so important to be true to yourself so that you do not get dragged into activities and decisions you really don’t want to be a part of, or that you may later regret.

How to Be Yourself

One of the first steps in finding your true self is discovering the underlying cause for hiding in the first place. Was it a friend, family member, or significant other that made you fear that being who you are would not be good enough? A helpful way to work through this understanding is in writing. Journal your thoughts and feelings, and take your time. Gain a deeper understanding of what or who you are hiding from.

Angel Statue Watching his Own Reflection

It’s also important to discover your strengths and weaknesses and take pride in them. Nobody is perfect. Relish in the things you do well and not so well. Make it your goal to get better at the things you are not so good at, and become even greater at the things you are good at. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Be confident in knowing that it is time to forgive yourself and learn from them. The best part about being yourself is that you own all your choices and decisions, and that you constantly have the knowledge to grow and become a better you.

Alonetime, Appreciation and Kindness

Spend time alone. This allows you the freedom to think through your likes, dislikes, beliefs, and other components of yourself that may have been altered. Since the day we are born we are conditioned to our culture through gender stereotypes and traditions. When we enter school, we are faced with cliques and social standards. Amid all this, appreciate who you are. You can only do that if you know yourself, and spending time alone will definitely help you do that. Come to know your senses. Feel your emotions. Just be present with yourself.

Be kind to yourself. It’s no secret that criticism plays a key role in why people hide their true self. One of the biggest critics you will ever encounter is yourself. Remind yourself of this whenever your thoughts begin to go down the narrow path of judgment. Examine yourself and make changes when necessary, but don’t spend too much time trying to “fix” yourself.

What to Do When You Face a Challenge

Sometimes, the relationships we accept are the very things that threaten our true self. They tell us how we are supposed to look, act and be, and we then become fearful of losing those relationships so we change. We conform. The overall goal is to be so secure in ourselves that we do not engage in relationships that do not encourage our being. If you do however get involved in a relationship that threatens your natural entity, you must recognize it and let it go. No peace has ever come by being somewhere that you’re not truly wanted.

After you let it go, take pride in knowing you did the right thing for yourself. Relish in the fact that you will grow because of this decision you made. Recognize that the potential outcome would have been harmful to your very being. Rest assured that who you are will be enough for the relationships that are truly meant for you. Take time to heal, because sometimes, it will hurt to let go. And while you’re healing, spend some more time with yourself. Figure out exactly what you have learned and incorporate that into your newfound being.

How to Deal with Not “Fitting In”

The Challenges of Being Yourself, A Boy whose sad at school

The Dunce, 1886 by Copping, Harold (1863-1932)

When you truly are yourself, you may find it difficult to “fit in” with the majority. You may feel as though no one understands you or that you’re too “different” from everyone else. It’s tough to feel as though you don’t fit in, but don’t let those feelings overwhelm you. Stop worrying about what others think. I know it is easier said than done, but once you are able to do it, you will immediately feel the freedom in your life. Accompany this with doing things that give you pleasure. Keep yourself busy and work on yourself at the same time. This raises awareness to you of the present moment and allows you to understand your purpose outside of a social construct.

What Does All This Mean?

With all this being said, there is no end when it comes to finding yourself and being yourself. There are an unlimited number of experiences that will open you up to all that you are. Take one day at a time and always remain in the moment. Always remain confident in who you are and who you are becoming.