Magazines, teachers, mentors and even your therapist may have at some time advised you to just be yourself. What they haven’t done, however, is taught you exactly how to do that. Being who you are without any artifice and calculation takes more work than it should but it is possible to learn to be yourself. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to being who you are.
- Spend some time alone getting to know who you are. Don’t skip straight to trying to be yourself until you take the time to find out who that is. Few people go through life completely self aware; it isn’t part of our cultural makeup. Instead we tend to spend time keeping up with the Joneses or conforming to what is normal. To start the journey of finding yourself, find a quiet solitary space then start asking yourself questions. Do you know what your favorite color is and why? Or why you voted the way you did in the most recent election? Start asking yourself the tough questions, similar to the ones you would ask on a first date. Then be honest about your answers. What you learn may surprise you.
- Stop negative self-talk. No one has the right to talk bad about you, even you. Stop the “I’m fat,” “I wish I was prettier,” and “I’m not interesting” comments. Whether you say them aloud or only in your mind, stop.
- Ask your own opinion. You always ask your friends where they want to go to dinner but do you take the time to ask yourself. Find your own opinion.
- Be honest. Honesty isn’t just the best policy when speaking to others; you should also be honest with yourself at all times. In order to become comfortable with the person you are, you should be truthful about who you are and what you think and feel about things.
- Relax. Stop stressing about what other people think or feel about you. Instead, concentrate on what you think. Take a breath and remember to relax.
- Pursue a passion. If you want to be interesting, then start following a passion. Have a hobby, an interest or even a mission. By actively taking part in something, you get to know yourself better and you let the person you are be visible to the rest of the world. As an added bonus, by pursing a passion you are likely to meet others who have the same passion and are more likely to accept you for who you are.
- Have fun. Remember that being yourself should not be stressful. It should be the person you are most comfortable being and should be fun.
Deciding that you can be yourself shouldn’t be as difficult as it appears. If you spend the time to honestly get to know who you are and who you want to become, you should be comfortable in your own skin in no time.