There is a whole lot of energy expended each day by many people trying to be something/someone other than themselves. This tragedy happens continually day in and day out. To just be yourself, however, is a seriously precious positivity tool that leads to inner peace; and inner peace is a tool that can get you through anything.
Discovering how to be yourself may be one of the most powerful things you could ever do for yourself. Not only does it cut down on wasteful energy expended on trying to please others and fit in, but being yourself can feed you, creating great clarity in your life thus giving you direction and purpose inevitably awakening unbelievable positive forces hidden within.
Acting in a way anything other than who you are creates an internal battle. It perpetuates feelings of a lack of self-worth as we perceive positive responses we get to fitting in. When we get that positive response because we “faked” it, that gives the feeling that not being who you are is better than who you actually are.
Another way to look at this is as a lack of integrity. Integrity means wholeness. It is when beliefs and actions are congruent. If they lack congruency then we end up in conflict and our pride in ourselves plummets. You may find that you see and feel very differently about yourself in different contexts. At home you maybe clear and confident about who you are, and yet when you get to your workplace you feel like you are not quite so sure and perhaps you act differently. Then again the reverse maybe true; at work you are super-confident and positive, but at home, you don’t really know what to do to fit in with your family.
One thing is certain though…
In order to be yourself, you must know who you are.
Do You Know Who You Are? If the answer is no, keep on reading! If the answer is yes, I challenge you and ask you – For real?! Do you really know who you are?
A great way to find out if who you are…who you really truly are, is to ask yourself in very simple terms: “Who am I?” You may want to literally write down a list or paragraph of the answers you get to the “Who am I” question.
The next piece of this evaluation is to take your answers and reflect on them. For example, perhaps one of your answers to the “Who am I” question is, “I am a divorcee.” Errrrnnnnt! No, you are not! That is not who you are. Rather, you are referring to a situation or circumstance you experienced and not the positive qualities that make you who you are. A frequent mistake we often make is to define ourselves by our circumstances but in doing so, we are looking outside ourselves when the answer to the “Who am I” question always comes from within. So for the divorcee, s/he is not defined by their divorce, but instead by their traits that they discovered or enhanced through that experience. For example, the answer would be “I am resilient,” “I am strong,” or “I am independent.” Remove circumstances and situations from your answers to get to the real answer.
More self-reflection questions to discover who you are:
- What’s your purpose? Map it out. Then look at how you behave and ask yourself whether you will achieve your purpose acting in a way that is not who you really are.
- Do you walk your talk? In other words, is there congruency in what you think, say, and do?
- Do you honor your commitments? Joyfully? If you act like yourself you will likely start committing to doing things you want to do and saying “no” to things that do not suit you. People who act in-congruent with their true self often find themselves making commitments they with they had not.
- Do you correct your mistakes? People who are afraid to be themselves are also typically afraid to correct their mistakes.
- What matters most to you? A great question to reflect upon.
- Do you have a set of conscious principles that you live your life by?
- Are you accountable to your actions? People who are themselves take accountability.
- Do you feel lonely in a crowd? People who know how to be themselves know they are never alone, even when they are!
- Do you often leave things unresolved? A lack of follow thru is a trademark of people who are not true to themselves.
- Do you worry about things you said or did not say?
- Do you worry about things you did or did not do?
- Are you truthful?
- Do you hear yourself “sugar-coating” things?
- What are your habits?
- Do you take ownership of your “issues?”
- Do you congratulate yourself throughout your day for your accomplishments? Or do you seek validation outside of yourself?
- Are the “things” in your life consistent with your personal beliefs?
- Do you trust yourself?
- Do you view yourself as whole.
Why is it important to be yourself? In a word, happiness.