Stop Hiding and Be Yourself
Are you comfortable being yourself in all situations?
If you’re like most people, you’re 90% yourself when you’re with close friends, 50% yourself with casual acquaintances, and hide the true you from strangers. Being your true self in all settings and situations is scary, but ultimately empowering and relaxing. Imagine the relief you’ll experience.
You no longer have to worry about the perceptions of others. You can just be yourself and feel satisfied with that.
Here are some steps to be yourself and take back control of your life:
Meditation quiets the part of you that judges and labels everything around you. Gain some insight into the real you by meditating regularly.
2. Tell the truth.
When you’re truthful, you reveal yourself. Be honest about your mistakes and shortcomings. This means to others and to yourself.
3. Be unique.
The true you isn’t exactly like everyone else. What music do you listen to when you’re alone? How do you dress? Do you keep the unique parts to yourself or are you willing to share them with the world?
TAKE ACTION: I always tell my daughter we are not trying to make a “photo” of someone else’s (artwork, life, etc.) we are trying to be ourselves, show our style, be us. Where are you not showing your style but trying to be a photocopy of someone else?
4. Notice your crutches and get rid of them.
Over-indulging in rocky road ice cream? Mindless internet surfing? A double vanilla café latte? Using crutches to deal with boredom, anxiety or uncertainty is blocking you from seeing the truth.
TAKE ACTION: Look at your own life and what crutches you pull out when you are feeling uneasy, stressed or bored. What is the purpose of a particular crutch? Stop using it and see for yourself.
For a long time, I used “a few drinks with dinner” as my crutch to unwind and deal with a busy day. After looking more closely I found it was a crutch and not helping my be my best self. After years of tuning out my evenings, I gave up drinking altogether and have found a new love for myself, even after a busy, stressful day.
5. Examine the areas in your life that feel inauthentic.
When and where do you feel like you’re lacking authenticity? Often it will be during interactions with strangers, first dates, new social experiences, and more formal occasions.
A lack of authenticity can also occur when you spend time with your parents and siblings. They just don’t seem to want you to change, so you fall back into your old roles.
TAKE ACTION: Think about the times you’re inauthentic and ask yourself why.
6. Spend your time on things you enjoy.
What do you really enjoy? Do you play on the softball league so you’ll fit in? Would you rather be taking rumba lessons? Spend your free time on the things that you’re most passionate about.
7. Do one thing you want to do but are afraid to try.
The people at the office might laugh if you take up the cello or take an acting class. However, secretly, they’ll be jealous that you have the nerve to do something unconventional. Everyone you know is stifled and bored. You can rise above all of that.
8. Give your opinion.
Not necessarily all of the time, but give your opinion if it won’t hurt anyone. Going to see a movie with some friends? Tell them the movie you’d most like to see. The family wants to go to the public pool or the park? Let your opinion be known. Wife wants to know if she looks fat in her dress? Be smart.
9. Get outside.
An indoor environment is unnatural. The air is heated or cooled. The lighting is artificial. You can’t see the sun, hear the birds, or feel the grass beneath your feet. Get yourself into a more natural environment and you’ll find it easier to be authentic.
10. Strengthen your boundaries.
Where your boundaries are weak, your true self is being smothered. These are the places we allow others to determine the rules and set the frame. You’ll know these places by the high amounts of energy they drain from you.
Overcome your need to fit in and impress others. No matter what you do, some people will be impressed and others won’t. Why worry about it? You’re an amazing person. Allow yourself to be that person each and every day.