Have you ever been told to just be yourself? Have you ever wondered what that meant?
Aren’t we taught since childhood to imagine being someone and always trying really hard to become that? But what happens after that? Is the race over? Most times, No. We start imagining being someone else and the race to be that someone starts all over again?
That someone is a suit we wear which consists of the expectations we have from ourselves, from what our families have from us, from what the society thinks us of or simply what people want you to be? And when we put on that suit, life becomes a vicious circle of validation for us, which revolves as a Continuum.
So then what does being yourself mean? In my opinion, it means to know the real you, letting go what you imagined yourself to be and being comfortable with it. Does that mean one can be a jerk? Or one needn’t change? Well, good questions. However, being yourself is the act of knowing oneself in and out and then building oneself basis that knowledge and understanding. A jerk is what you see outside, it needn’t be the reality of that person. It’s a nice mask that someone has put on to, well yes, get accepted.
Being yourself is who we really are when we let go the burden of other people’s stuff that we have taken on.
Everything else that we claim to be when we say, “This is who I am!” is only a facade.
The world will constantly try to mould you per it’s convenience. If you don’t define yourself, the world will define it the way it wants. It will give you tags and you’ll may be end up believing it and before you know, start living those tags. I have been called many things: thinker, slow, casual, great at thinking but needs to fasten the pace of work, etc..
I’m no saint. It did bother me too. I tried hard to be what others wanted me to be. I started believing in those tags until I reached a point where I decided to step back, and start defining myself. And I’m happy that despite whatever I was labelled, I got to work on maximum high stake projects. Work didn’t stop coming my way inspite of what I was labelled. I don’t want you to think that I had an “I don’t give a damn” attitude or I didn’t take it as feedback. On the contrary I did. But not going by what everyone told me but by what I thought was relevant.
I let them recommend the colours without forgetting that it’s still my painting and my Canvas. And I am the painter.
So how can you start this journey of being yourself?
1. Spend time on yourself to know who you are.
2. Take responsibility for your thoughts, behaviours and actions. You’ll find peace being a jerk on your own terms rather than being a saint as per someone else’s.
3. Stop seeking validation
4. Follow your intuition. Most times it’s correct. Even if it’s wrong, you did as you wanted to.
How will these things help being yourself, you ask? Well, it will atleast help you align you with your true self. And when that happens, you’ll be at peace and will be an unstoppable force. Know that in the end the world will adjust to you.
Remember, somewhere in someone’s experience, you’re not the guy you should/could have been. Just ensure that someone is not You.