The Secret To Being Yourself
The best piece of advice that can be given to us is also the most frustrating.
“Just be You.”
Here you’ll find the what, how, and why.
We’re in a world where being yourself is deemed as the best thing you could ever do, and yet, we’re always told to be better. This is especially prevalent in the world of self-development. There’s always a new skill to develop, a new hiccup to sort out, a new habit to cultivate, and overall always something to make better.
And as wonderful as that is as it helps you in becoming a better human being, it can quickly become toxic if left unchecked.
In a world of constant self-improvement, we’re not taught to cultivate self-acceptance, we’re only shown and told we’ll be good enough once we gain this and that, achieve this and that, become this and that.
Being yourself inherently comes from a place of self-acceptance. It cannot come from a place of liking who you’re going to be, it cannot come from a place of liking who you might be. It has to come from a place of truly enjoying who you are right now.
Understanding true self-acceptance
True self-acceptance is accepting and loving your failures and short-comings on the same level as your achievements.
Both are part of who you are.
Both contribute to your development.
Both are what make up Life.
The Yin and The Yang.
Accepting yourself doesn’t mean blatantly ignoring your short-comings or dousing them in sparkles and calling it beautiful.
Accepting yourself means understanding that the shadow is just as much a part of you as the reason for the shadow — light.
The saying “Just be You” is only good when we not only say it and understand it, but actually act on it.
There’s a brilliant quote by Mark Twain about writing, and it applies the same way to being yourself when you don’t know where to start. And overall, is a good approach to Life.
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
When you’re surrounded by a world of information it’s important to know what to use and what not to. You simply do not have the time (unless you’re Dracula) to live out and use every single piece of information. So, what’s the solution?
The Elimination Game
Figuring out what you like is mostly about figuring out what you don’t like.
The same is for figuring who you are.
You have to first figure out who you’re not.
The approach of “Either it’s a hell yes or a hell no.”
Lukewarm “maybe”s are the enemy here.
Imagine a list of about 200 things you like doing e.g. singing, parkour, learning a musical instrument, going out, calisthenics, music theory, clubbing, drawing, painting, etc.
And maybe You can only do about 5 on a weekly basis, e.g working out, writing, photography, social life, and reading.
You physically can’t spend your time doing all 200 things, because it will get you nowhere. So you have to choose a set of things you really want to do and do them (they can change throughout the year)
So you start by crossing things out.
Do I want to do parkour?
I mean, eh, I’d LOVE to get better at it but this and this and that, so maybe?
Or would I love to develop my singing voice and be able to show a little bit? Of course!
However, right now, it’s not a priority.
Remember, either a “hell yes”, or a “hell no”.
Do I love keeping myself fit while currently not developing any specific movement skills because I have other priorities? Hell yes.
That’s where the gym comes in.
Do I want to become a better writer, make an impact, and improve my financial position? Absolutely. Hence the daily writing.
The same goes for You.
Slowly start eliminating all the things that aren’t a “hell yes”.
You’ll have less going on, and your Life will be the better for it.
You’ll feel yourself progressing.
You’ll feel yourself having enough time.
You’ll feel fulfilled.
And you’ll see your stress levels “magically” decrease.
As promised, I’ll explain the very simple “why” of being yourself and it’s benefits.
Everyone else is taken
You’ve most likely seen this online or on posters or something.
And yet, it’s absolutely true.
It’s known that lying is difficult and takes up a lot of cognitive space, and the more you do it, the more difficult it becomes.
When you choose to be yourself, you’re choosing to live the ultimate truth — your truth.
We all want to do good
In a sense, we all want to do good, be good, and try to save the world.
And it’s okay for that world to be yours. It’s okay if the person you save ends up being you. It simply means you’ll be a brilliant example to another person, and that’s more than enough.
By learning to be me, and I mean learning to truly and firmly stand in my own truth, I know I’ve made a positive impact on the kids and teenagers I’ve worked with in summer camps. For them, seeing a person not much older proudly being themself (owning both achievements and failures) while pursuing their dreams, is the best education they could’ve ever received. Because now, they finally know what’s possible, while also learning that even what they’ve seen is not the final outcome.
The world doesn’t need more “successful” people, it needs more happy people.
The point isn’t to have more.
The point is to have less but better.
Same for You.
Eliminate the things that are not sparking joy and are not a “hell yes”.
That can be people, habits, decisions, views, values, careers, countries.
Remember, if it’s not a “hell yes”, it’s a “hell no”, and that learning to be yourself is the best deed you will ever do for the world.