I’m a big believer in being true to yourself. I mean, who else do you want to be?
Whenever I try to be something/someone I’m not, it comes out all wrong and makes connecting with others nearly impossible.
For example, today I went to a networking lunch. I was a bit stressed over what to wear since most days I can be found in yoga pants and a t-shirt–not exactly professional business attire. I wanted to have a professional appearance yet remain as true to myself as possible. Well, not at first. At first I just wanted to appear professional. Period. I have my own business and wanted to give off the right impression. Nothing wrong with that. However when I put on the dress pants and heels, they were so not me. I felt uncomfortable and restricted. Right before I had to leave I swapped out the pants and heels for jeans (yes – JEANS) and flats and went on my way. And I’m so happy I did. I felt much more relaxed and didn’t worry a minute about my outfit. Granted, this event was a bit more casual than say a networking event with attorneys but I knew that going in. I knew I wouldn’t be too out of place. But really, I didn’t care. I felt being true to myself was more important than trying to be something I’m not. I wanted people to see me at my truest – take it or leave it.
What does being true to yourself even look like?
- Knowing your likes and dislikes.
- Not being what/who others want you to be. (And, yes, this especially includes your parents!)
- Doing what you want to do (not what others expect you to do).
- Saying no when you want to say no (and not feeling obligated to do otherwise).
- Trusting your instincts and inner knowing over others opinions.
Why be true to yourself?
If it’s not already obvious, being true to yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. It’s the only way to achieve true lasting happiness. It sets you free and allows you to fully express yourself and to explore your passions. Not only does it feel great (after you get over the fear of what other people will think), it makes you comfortable and at ease in your own skin. You’re less stressed, you feel more balanced and centered, and you’re more confident making decisions moving forward. Plus, the world needs you! There is no one else on this whole planet who can do what you do or who can be who you are.
Here are some great ways to be/remain true to yourself:
- First off, figure out who you are. Sometimes people get so bogged down into what other people want them to be that they forget who they are. Take the time to really investigate who you are – your likes and dislikes, your passions, your desires, what you value, and what you want out of life.
- Allow yourself to grow and change. Be true to new interests, new ways of thinking, new passions and new desires. It’s ok to let go of the old when you’re done with it. It’s healthy to move on sometimes. Just like a kid outgrows its toys, you may outgrow certain things, too. That’s ok. Allow yourself the opportunity to grow and expand.
- Stop caring what other people think about you. You know what? Most (as in ALL) of what people think about you really reflects how they think about themselves. It’s really not about you at all so stop taking it in as if it were the truth of you. Practice not letting other’s opinions of you matter by building up a solid foundation of what YOU think of YOU. And when someone makes an off-handed comment that would have hurt the past you, counteract it in your head with your new beliefs about you and who you really are.
- Stop saying yes to things when you really mean no. Yea, sometimes you’re going to do something you don’t want to do because you feel like it’s the best thing for you to do. But even then you’re making a decision that it’s the best thing to do for yourself making it true for you. I’m talking about saying yes to things only because you feel obligated or guilted into doing something. This isn’t good for anyone. Only say yes to things when you can get your mind around that this is the best thing for you to be doing (like helping out your friend with something or going to work to make money to support yourself).
- Express your individuality. Be true to your style, your tastes and don’t be afraid to be an individual outside of trends and fads. Don’t compare yourself to others because, seriously, no one can be you. And you really don’t want to be them.
- Trust and follow your instincts and inner knowing. They are your best guide to not only keep you safe (you know when you feel something is just not right) but they also help to guide you to your best opportunities. Cultivate this trust by doing it. As you begin to experience positive results, it’ll become easier to trust yourself.
I’d love to hear the ways that you’re being true to yourself. Please share in the comments.