Just be yourself Thibaut!
How often have you been told that 3 words that at best don’t help you and at worst piss you off?
The ability to be authentic is extremely important in order to experience more joy, better relationships and more overall success in life. However, due to social pressure and social conditioning, being your authentic self is far from being an easy task! Just be yourself? Forget about it.
In this article I’m going to share with you what I believe being yourself truly means.
Expressing your emotions and thoughts unapologetically
In order to be yourself you must be able to express your emotions and your thoughts unapologetically.
However, most of the time, because we are too busy trying to please other people, are afraid to be rejected or simply don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, we end up hiding our true emotions and thoughts.
Mr. Nice Guy is a typical example of someone who is not being himself. He tries to please the woman he likes instead of being authentic and pretends to like everything she says she likes. If he were having the same discussion with a friend he would bluntly admit that he hates all those things he pretends to love. Yes, he clearly is inauthentic. That’s one of the reasons why women will often be more attracted to an authentic asshole than to an inauthentic Mr. Nice Guy.
You don’t need to apologize for not liking such or such food or such or such movie and you should certainly not apologize for feeling the way you feel. People may still argue with what you think but they can’t possibly argue with the way you feel.
What about you? How often are you expressing your true feelings and emotions in your day-to-day conversations?
Be willing to be vulnerable
Being yourself means being willing to show your vulnerable side to others. It’s easier to be stoic and pretend that everything is fine in your life than to share your weaknesses and problems with your family or friends. Pretending to be strong doesn’t require much courage while opening yourself up requires a tremendous amount of courage.
I noticed that people who are willing to be authentic and share more of themselves generally create deeper relationships with people around them. By being willing to be vulnerable they give others the permission to be themselves and create more meaningful relationships.
Why not open up yourself and work on creating more meaningful relationships with people around you?
Accepting your masculinity/feminity
Many people try to conform to the ideal of what a woman or a what a man should be in the society they are living in even though it doesn’t match their personality. For instance, men may think that being a “real” man means having big biceps, talking with a deep voice and hiding their emotions.
Whether you are a man or a woman here is what I think being yourself truly means: doing what you really want to do without caring about what people think of you. If you are a man and feel like taking pilates lessons or wearing pink clothes then just do that. I personally like pink. Pilates lessons? Why not! If you feel like crying then do that too. There is no activities reserved for men or women. If you have a natural urge to do something, why not just do it?
Men who pretend to be strong but who can’t do what they really want to do because they are too worried about what other men may think of them, are not “alpha males”. On the other hand, the guy who takes pilates lesson, wears pink clothes and doesn’t feel less of a man, that’s a “real” man (I wasn’t talking about me :-p)
Think less and be more
Most of us are spending too much time in our head and not enough time listening to our intuition. Thinking will not help you becoming more authentic. You don’t need to think to be yourself. After all we are talking about “being” yourself, not about thinking yourself. In that sense, the expression “just be yourself” is not completely absurd.
However, in order to truly be yourself you must unlearn most of what you’ve learned regarding who you should be, what you should do or how you should behave.
To do that, you can start listening more to your intuition, spend some time meditating every day or learn to be more present in the moment.
Knowing yourself is probably the hardest things you can do in your life so think twice before saying to someone: “just be yourself” because that person is probably still trying to figure out who he or she is 🙂
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