“Just be yourself.” Most of us have heard this, usually in situations where we’re afraid we might not be accepted. For instance, at a job interview, an audition, or the first day of something–anything where we might encounter people we don’t know.
But here’s the irony in the saying “just be yourself”:
It’s typically said to us when we’re worried we won’t be accepted by others.
However, being ourselves starts with us accepting ourself.
That is actually the first and most important step. Once we’re able to pass that threshold, being our true authentic self should come much more easily; and it’s such a liberating feeling.
6 Tips for Being Your Authentic Self
- Accept Yourself: Take a moment to recognize your strengths, weaknesses, quirks, personality, and all the things that make you uniquely you. Now, appreciate everything that is you, and don’t be afraid to show it. In fact, you shouldn’t hide it. At the end of the day, authenticity is much more valuable than the appearance of perfection.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: Whether it’s airbrushed photos in a magazine or a celebrity, neighbor, co-worker, or classmate, it’s easy to get into the habit of comparing our lives with others’. But no matter what, we inevitably end up feeling depressed, inferior, and “less-than.” Ultimately, this can either lead to copy-cat behavior or closing ourselves off into our own little shell. Both of which can rob us of both being and discovering our own self.
- Stop any negative self-talk: When you fail at something, are you more inclined to think negative thoughts about yourself? If so, let’s change that and try to have more of a growth mindset. These thoughts are called negative self-talk, which are subconscious self-incriminating thoughts that run through our head. The worst part is that we start to believe them the more frequent they occur. Besides lowering our self-esteem, these type of thoughts can also restrict us. They can cause us to avoid certain activities or hide parts of our personality that might prove the negative thoughts we already have. Therefore, we are less able to just be our whole self.
- Remember the finiteness of life: Remember that life is too short to waste it being someone we’re not. It’s a disservice to ourself and everyone else around us.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously: Know that no one is perfect. So we should be able to laugh at ourself and give ourself grace when we fail or fall short.
- Remember that “…those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind“: There isn’t really much more to add to this quote by Dr. Suess. Basically, the most judgmental people can just step aside.