In order to live up to your full potential, you have to choose to be yourself.
But almost every part of your day is shared with other people, and as such, the pressure to conform – to be anything other than your real self – is immense. It can be hard to be yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin.
Whether you are at the park; at work; shopping for groceries, you name it, you can feel the watchful gaze of society demanding that you fit in. Expecting you to conform.
And, nobody likes to be outcast; so you try your best to match others’ expectations of you. The complete opposite of being yourself.
So you then pretend to like what everybody else likes, act like you agree with what everybody else is saying even though you secretly not see eye to eye with them.
You Know How It Works:
- Swallowing your wild opinions and throwing away your dreams because (OMG) you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb and offend anybody.
- Sticking to the same job you hate because everybody thinks it’s a “sensible option” and starting your own business is risky.
- Biting your tongue to stop yourself from speaking your truth because you simply can’t stand the stares from the gatekeepers of your community.
- Doing whatever you can to “fit in” with your group because you simply cannot fathom the idea of not belonging – so you kiss the idea to “be yourself” goodbye.
We do all this and more just to fit in and be considered normal. We want so badly to be a part of the tribe so we are willing to pay any price – including trading in our real self.
It hurts to disown your innate right to be yourself.
Nobody understands this better than I do, because I paid that price for years.
I Was So Scared Of Losing People and Being Left Alone
Throughout my childhood and teenage years – even as a young adult – I could not bear the risk of being myself.
I was terrified of the idea of speaking for myself, voicing my own opinions, and choosing to do what I wanted to do.
In hindsight, I behaved this way for the same reason why anybody else suppresses themselves. I didn’t want to threaten anybody. I was scared of upsetting those around me.
There was no greater fear in my mind than losing the love and respect of those whom I called friends at that point. And to protect myself from that fear, I sacrificed my authentic self.
At this point you would think after going to all those lengths to protect myself from my worst fear, my life would be great, right?
But it wasn’t blue skies and sunshine.
I felt terrible.
I mean, sure, I was able to stay part of the group, but at what cost? I felt lonely, and I felt like a fraud, because even though I had people around me, none of them loved me for me.
They loved me for what I pretended to be.
In my quest to avoid being alone at all costs, I ended up feeling more alone than ever. In my anxious attempt at not losing people, I ended up losing the most important person of all – myself.
When You Choose to Be Yourself, You Are Empowered with Real Friends
I’m just going to say it right off the bat: you CAN survive without the approval of some people.
You can shrug off what everyone thinks and learn to express your true self.
For years, I allowed my insecurities to stop me from being myself, and this prevented me from accomplishing all the things which I wanted to achieve.
For me the choice was to either be yourself and be free, or feel like a fraud every time you look into the mirror.
I had to choose to stay true to myself and to speak my mind.
It was a painful process.
But in the end, I learned to stop fearing losing people. I allowed myself to feel the anxiety that raised when I didn’t get their validation until it faded away
I lost a lot of “friends” when I stopped being a “yes man”.
I got a lot of stares when I decided to stop being “cool”.
It was not only gloomy skies, though – I gained a lot, too.
I found new friends who loved me for me.
In due time, I forged stronger connections with those who respected me more for being myself.
My self-esteem started to grow and I realized that the only opinion that truly mattered was mine at the end.
I found the strength to overcome the anxieties and insecurities that had previously been holding me back from embracing the idea of being yourself.
Being Yourself Gets Easier Over Time and With Practice
Once you decide to be yourself, don’t expect an easy journey. Think of it like undoing a lifetime of bad habits and bad programming.
You won’t just get up one morning and find every decision you make to come from a place of “I am enough. I can be myself”. You might struggle at first.
But it gets better with time and practice. The more you choose to do you and be you, the easier it will get. You may feel some anxiety as you decide to unlearn all that junk programming, but soon enough being yourself will feel natural.
And it should be.
You Have a Natural Right To Be No Other Person But Yourself
Those who don’t validate have every right to do so, but over time their beliefs will not bother you in the least. You will be too concerned loving authentic self and being loved by those who love you for you.
You weren’t put here on Earth to be anybody else but you, and you not only have to accept that truth, YOU HAVE TO LIVE IT.
You owe it to God, or the Universe if you prefer, and to yourself to unleash the lion within by letting loose to become unapologetically you.
Some people might tell you otherwise, and sometimes you may find yourself tempted to agree. But you need to understand that the only thing wrong about embarking on this journey to be yourself is that you took so long to start in first place.
Don’t allow the fear of losing others cause you to lose yourself. Embrace your power and be yourself. Choose you.