Personal Growth: Stop Being Afraid to Be Yourself

We live in a society that constantly tells us what’s wrong with ourselves and what we need to do or obtain in order to be like some better version of ourselves, often resulting in us trying to emulate another person instead of being our authentic selves. Being our authentic selves requires intentionality and effort, but it results in a happier and more content being that is able to fully show up in life with confidence and pride. There are several ways to cultivate the confidence needed to banish fear and embrace being yourself at all times in all situations.

Love Yourself Unconditionally

Every person has at least one thing they aren’t too fond of about themselves. Yet, these flaws are not a reason to dismiss yourself in favor of being more like someone else. Our imperfections make us unique, and as odd as it seems our imperfections should be embraced. It is only through self-acceptance of those flaws that we are able to be completely authentic in our dealings with others (Luna, 2019). Otherwise, we spend a lot of time trying to hide and alter those things about ourselves we dislike which inhibits our ability to truly be ourselves.

It’s Okay to be Different

All people have a desire to be accepted and this often translates to conforming to the beliefs and behavior of others in order to be accepted. Learning to be comfortable being different from others frees you of the burden of feeling like you must adapt. In doing so you are able to think independently and express yourself without reservation or restriction. Difference adds societal value by allowing for multiple viewpoints and multiple approaches to issues. Thus, bringing your difference to the table means adding value and diversity in a way that helps everyone.

Self-Awareness

Being self-aware is critical for learning to be yourself. Through the process of self-analysis and reflection, you are able to get in touch with the inner thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that make up who you are. You’re also able to identify beliefs and biases that may have originated from a source other than yourself and might be influencing your decision making and behavior. It is a natural tendency to absorb the views and opinions of those around us, as our surroundings greatly influence our thought processes (Dunn, 2019). Thus, continual self-evaluation introduces a regular pattern of checking for these influences and thoroughly assessing and analyzing for yourself in order to draw your own conclusions.

Highlight Your Strengths

All too often we have a tendency to focus more of our energy on our weaknesses and less time celebrating our strengths. An overemphasis of our downfalls can certainly foster a sense of disappointment in one’s self or a dislike of one’s self in a way that might lead someone to desire to be more like someone else. However, if we spend more time celebrating our strengths we would develop a greater sense of appreciation and love for ourselves that would encourage us to be our unique selves more frequently.

When it all boils down, there is only one you and you should aim to show up as your authentic self as much as possible, not just for your benefit but also for the benefit of others. The mental and emotional freedom you’ll be able to walk in will reduce stress and anxiety associated with trying to be like someone else. Additionally, people will be able to benefit from the unique way of thinking and being that you and only you have to offer.

References:

Davis, T. (2018, October 8). Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201810/how-be-yourself-in-five-simple-steps

Dunn, J. (2019, August 22). How To Be Yourself: 5 Tips For Being Real, Authentic, And Not Fake. Retrieved from https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/10625/how-to-be-yourself/

Luna, A. (2019, August 26). 9 Exhilarating Ways to Be True to Yourself (Even When You’re Scared) ⋆ LonerWolf. Retrieved from https://lonerwolf.com/be-true-to-yourself/

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