Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to Be Yourself

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Being yourself is celebrating you, as an individual - learning to express yourself and be happy with who you are. For some people, it's learning to love yourself, for others, it's not hiding who you are or changing things about you to fit in. So read on to know how to express the inner you.


   1. Define yourself. You can't be yourself if you don't know, understand, and accept yourself first. It should be your primary goal to find this out. Try to take time to yourself and contemplate your life and choices. Try to think about what kind of things you would or wouldn't like to do, and act accordingly; finding out through trial and error helps more than you might think it does. You can even take personality tests, but be careful to only take what you want from them and not let them define you. Work on accepting mistakes and choices you've made; they're done and in the past, so there is no use crying over spilled milk.

   2. Stop caring about how people perceive you. The fact is, it really doesn't matter. It's impossible to be yourself when you're caught up in wondering "Do they think I'm funny? Does she think I'm fat? Do they think I'm stupid?" To be yourself, you've got to let go of these concerns and just let your behavior flow, with only your consideration of others as a filter — not their consideration of you. Besides, if you change yourself for one person or group, another person or group may not like you, and you could go around in a vicious cycle trying to please people; it's totally pointless in the end, and it leaves you exhausted. However, if someone you trust and respect critiques aspects of who you are, feel free to judge (honestly) whether or not it is accurate instead of accepting or dismissing the critique unconditionally.

   3. Be honest and open. What have you got to hide? We're all imperfect, growing, learning human beings. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourself — and you feel that you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionally — then you have to come to terms with that and learn to convert your so-called flaws into individualistic quirks. Be honest with yourself, but don't beat yourself up; apply this philosophy to others, as well. There is a difference between being critical and being honest; learn to watch the way you say things to yourself and others when being honest.

   4. Relax. Stop worrying about the worst that could happen, especially in social situations. So what if you fall flat on your face? Or get spinach stuck in your teeth? Learn to laugh at yourself both when it happens and afterwards. Turn it into a funny story that you can share with others. It lets them know that you're not perfect and makes you feel more at ease, too. It's also an attractive quality for someone to be able to laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously!

   5. Develop and express your individuality. Whether it's your sense of style, or even your manner of speaking, if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, then be proud of it... unless it's destructive to yourself or others. Be a character, not a type.

   6. Have a productive day. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and that some days you are the statue. People might raise eyebrows and even make fun, but as long as you can shrug and say "Hey, that's just me" and leave it at that, people will ultimately respect you for it, and you'll respect yourself.

   7. Believe in who you are. If you're always working to be someone you're not, you'll never be a happy person. Be yourself and show the world you're proud of the way you are! Nobody knows you better than you and that's how it should be. You deserve to be your own best friend, so start trying to figure out how you can do that. If you had to hang out with yourself for a day, what is the most fun type of person you could be, while still being yourself? What is the best version of you? Believe in this idea and use that as your starting point. Love and accept yourself as you are now.

   8. Follow your own style. The common thing a lot of people do is copy other's actions because it seems like the better route to fit in, but really, shouldn't you stand out? Standing out is very hard, yes, but you need to try avoid assuming other people's perspectives of you. Even if it's not something you would normally do; that's what being yourself is all about. Maybe you like to sit outside on the deck under an umbrella in the middle of the rain, maybe you have different ideas of things, rather than other people, maybe you like strawberry cake instead of the common chocolate cake, whatever you are, accept it. Being different is absolutely beautiful and it attracts people to you.


    * There's a big difference between being yourself and being rude.You might have your opinions, dreams, and preferences, but so does everyone else. You shouldn't disrespect people who disagree with you; they have the privilege of being themselves just as you do. Conversely, don't agree with something you honestly don't think is right; just don't try to force your opinions on other people.

    * If fads or trends strike your fancy, don't avoid them! Being yourself is all about reflecting who you are inside in what you do, and what you like is what you like, no matter how trendy it is (or not trendy, for that matter)!

    * As the famous song goes, "Life's not worth a damn, until you can say 'I am what I am.' " When you can sincerely say it, you will know that you can be yourself.

    * If the people you care about are setting standards for you they are trying to change who you are.

    * Even if you are interested in something that doesn't interest most people, don't be afraid or hide it; stand up and show your true inner self. People will know how confident you are.

    * Don't worry about anything but being yourself and living life to the fullest!

    * If you have a habit that helps you escape your worries, e.g gaming or browsing the internet, stop going and face yourself and your insecurities.

    * In some cases, reducing Internet dependency might help you feel more "connected" to yourself. It may be easier to nurture your individuality without the perpetual distractions of the Internet. Try not going online for a while, and if this leads you to start feeling better about yourself, then you may want to consider replacing all the excess time you spend on the Internet with offline activities, such as hobbies or clubs.

    * Think about it this way: Being your weird, goofy self has some ups and downs. Some people might think you're weird, call you names behind your back, or laugh at you. But by far the majority of people will have the utmost respect for you because you are brave enough to stand up to these things. People want to make friends with people who have something special about them: whether they make them feel good, have a different sense of humor, or even something as simple as being a great cook. If everyone on the planet had the same attitude or personality, the world would be a boring place.


    * It needs to be understood that "being yourself" does not have anything to do with forcing yourself to just do whatever you desire or pretending that you don't care how others perceive you. It is actually the process of listening to your inner feelings and maintaining personal integrity. If you are truly uncomfortable with your pimples or your size and that is impeding your self esteem, work on these things. If you are constantly getting angry and this makes you feel alienated, work on it.

    * Just because you don't care about how people perceive you doesn't mean you shouldn't be aware of it, especially in situations where being yourself might be misinterpreted. For example, you might enjoy being friendly and flirtatious, but in some cultures, that might be perceived as a sexual invitation, and you could get yourself in trouble.

    * Don't lose yourself when you're with other friends. Be yourself. Don't be someone else so other people will like you; in the end, you would end up hurting other people and losing yourself.
    * Don't think that being yourself means that you cannot change who you are. You want to be a person that you can be proud of, so if there is some way you can improve yourself, go for it. Don't allow your shortcomings to discourage you, but don't ignore them either.

    * Make sure that you can show the same "you" to everyone consistently. If you feel the need to be secretive about something wrong you've done, you are not really being yourself; it will show and misunderstandings will occur. Do what's right. You cannot truly be yourself unless you can face yourself.

    * Keep in mind that 'being yourself' is not always the right thing to do. Would you tell a despicable person to just be himself and not change a thing? No. Most of the time when people in general perceive you a certain way, it means you don't fit in to your society. Whether you want to fit in or not is up to you, but you are only setting yourself up for trouble when you neglect society's ways. (That is, unless you decide to live in a cave for the rest of your life.)

    * Nobody is perfect. However, if you are outrageously flawed (for example, have a short temper), then you should look into some self-improvement rather than ignoring everyone's cues and "being yourself." Don't deny yourself of the truth by saying it's everyone else's problem and not yours. You'll only be hurting yourself in the long run.

    * While you're being you, remember that "you" might have your flaws that might need to be changed, but only for the better (materialistic things/personality do not count, such as your favorite bag that everybody ridicules, or if you talk quietly). Goals and bad habits count. Say, you have bad acne and you've been stressing on it for a while. Don't say "well, 'I' have bad acne, and I want to be myself, so I'll give up on getting rid of it." Or if you have some bad habits, don't say "it's a part of me, that's the way it is," because you can still change yourself for the better and in ways which will make you grow.

    * Being yourself can be cool and can get people to notice you, but don't overdo it. Sometimes it's good to just go with the flow and not stick out like a sore thumb

    * Try not to mock people different to you; for all you know others could be making fun of you! Be better than them by setting an example.

    * Remember, everyone is showing you a mirror of yourself! You have 100% responsibility for yourself and your actions!

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